Monday, June 16, 2008
Me and David Ogilvy in Cannes.
Some years ago, I had the great good fortune to spend a week in Cannes with Mr. Ogilvy. I was just a cub copywriter at the time, but thanks to my prolific ability to write 6200 words of copy for an Ogilvy client, the old man took a liking to me. The two of us had breakfast one morning, just the two of us. Here's a transcription of a bit of our conversation.
You don't happen to have a good cigar, do you? I've got a young physician here who thinks I'm gonna give up smoking. Do you have a cigar?
No, I'm afraid I haven't. Sorry.
I changed the subject, didn't I? What a disagreeable old man I have become! You want to know what I think about Martin Sorrell. Well, I suppose it has some private sort of greatness. He just left you a tip. Hmm? He had a generous mind. I don't suppose anybody ever had so many opinions. But he never believed in anything except Martin Sorrell. He never had a conviction except Martin Sorrell in his life. I suppose he'll die without one. That's been pretty unpleasant. Of course, a lot of us check out without having any special convictions about death. But we do know what we're leaving. We do believe in something. You're absolutely sure you haven't got a cigar?
Sorry, Mr. Ogilvy.
I don't know. Martin was disappointed in the world. So he built one of his own, an absolute monarchy. Something bigger than an opera house anyway. Nurse!
Yes, Mr. Ogilvy.
Oh, I'm coming. Uh, say, young fellow, there is one thing you can do for me.
Stop at the cigar store on your way out, will you, get me up a couple of good cigars?
I'll be glad to.
Thank you. One is enough. You know, when I was a young man, there used to be an impression around that nurses were pretty. It was no truer then than it is today.
I'll take your arm, Mr. Ogilvy.
Posted by george tannenbaum at 10:28 AM