Wednesday, I wrote about a 72-year-old memo Bill Bernbach wrote that Jenny Nicholson sent to me.
Today I'm writing about a 52-year-old-memo Leo Burnett wrote that David Baldwin of CEO of BALDWIN& sent to me.
Mr. Burnett wrote his note more than half a century ago. He delivered it to some of his employees on his retirement. Back in 1967, life was different. LBJ was president. Vietnam was raging. The Soviets had 10,000 nuclear warheads aimed at us and we aimed 10,000 back at them.
Even in New York, there were only six TV stations. People still read newspapers. There were no personal computers, video games, or Twitter.
It was a very different world.
The ad world was different, too. Advertising was a glamorous, well-paying business. Agencies got paid 15% commission. Today we get 15% of bupkis.
Like I said, it was a very different world.
That, the note from Mr. Burnett makes sense today. As much sense as it made back then.
Today, however, it's more than just sensible.
It's an indictment.
It's an indictment of our business. An indictment of the bullshit that quantity is more important than quality.
An indictment of the way the money boys are taking their millions and bleeding the working stiff dry.
An indictment in the 'I need it yesterday' mentality.
An indictment of all the knee-in-the-groin indignity of the data scientists, and over-thinkers and blowhards--who because they don't make anything, somehow are above the fray and therefore unaccountable. So they get ahead.
Or they have loud voices. So they get ahead.
I could go on and on.
But this is a family blog.
So I'll close this way: thank you, David.
And thank you, Leo.
It's always nice to hear from people who have souls.
December 1, 1967