My career in advertising and marketing started in radio.
In 1983, I landed a job as Continuity Director at a local radio station. It was like working at WKRP In Cincinnati (google it). Complete with a production studio, I wrote 30-40 ads a week. I won my first ADDY award with them.
In 1986, I started as a copywriter at a fledgling ad agency. We won lots of awards and I created a public relations department utilizing what I learned working at Merlin Group, LTD, a theatrical press agency in New York City.
The 80s were a very creative time in advertising, especially for print. Four color was still a process that required color separations and the graphics department was always going crazy trying to get the registration right. (See “color separations”) I know this is like speaking a foreign language today, but trust me, color was huge. And expensive. And it was easily screwed up.
I was offered a position at a newly formed agency as creative director and now I was going to be the senior copywriter and work directly with the art department.
However, the owner had, shall we say, “financial issues” and at one point all eight employees had one week before the money ran out.
… the owner had, shall we say, “financial issues” and at one point all eight employees had one week before the money ran out.
So, I started an agency with the art director. We had differences of opinions on what 50/50 meant (he felt it meant 65/35) so this ended.
After a stint as an Information officer/PR Guy at a Behavioral Health organization, I joined a p.r. agency that specialized in nutraceuticals, supplements and food clients.
I left this position to move to Washington DC where I landed a position at a top notch ad agency as creative director. That went pretty well until 9/11. And the dot-com bust. 80% of our clients were tech.
With this layoff, I then started another ad agency with two guys who had been at that agency; One partner had moved to Richmond, VA for personal reasons and was commuting in every day with 10+hour commutes. That got very tedious. But it was the discovery that our creative director was doing side jobs for the previous agency that blew everything up. This ended just as we were starting to take-off.
After another move, to Asheville, NC, in 2005, I’ve been working as an independent ever since. It’s the most successful and longest gig so far.