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of an Adman
My living is made through advertising.
I have worked in the business for almost 20 years and, in
that time, have had the opportunity to work on many interesting
accounts. A copywriter by trade, I later became a creative
director (while always continuing to write lots of copy.)
While I've created (and help create) what I consider to
be some effective TV and print campaigns, radio will always
be my favorite medium. (And where I think I've excelled
Generally speaking, I cannot imagine
a more stimulating, fun, or rewarding industry to be a part
of than advertising.
So... until last year, I was a Senior
Vice President/Creative Director at a mid-sized Southern
California agency (where I'd been working for three years.)
And one day, after much reflection
and deliberation... I decided it was time for a change.
Something about it no longer felt right.
It might have been changes at the agency, changes in me,
or a combination of both. But either way, I was ready for
something that felt better.
As luck would have it, at this point
in time I had a wonderful opportunity with an outside client.
This would allow me to do what I'd always dreamed of doing:
to start an advertising business of my own. (I am forever
indebted to them.)
So with that, on the brink of turning
40, I did it. I gave notice. I freed myself. And in November,
2001, I started The Surf City Advertising Company. Entering
this new life, I decided to document the first year in the
form of a book… a diary, to be exact. In it, I’d
record what it’s like to
"start over" in a sense; the liberation, the exhilaration,
the fear, the focus, the strain, the fun. I’d write
my observations, thoughts on advertising, stories, theories,
ideas, musings, advice, etc. And of course, a week by week
account for 12 months of just what it’s like. What
you go through, both good and bad. (Though I’m still
waiting for the bad.)
It all starts with the thrill of the
first day on your own and continues through the new routines,
patterns, relationships... the strange, turbulent politics
that can occur as a result of your decision to leave a place...
the challenge of creating your own brand... the wonder of
putting to work all of the things you've learned...
It's a work in progress (I'll finish
writing in November) and the book will be published next
spring. It's called "Diary of an Adman" (A play,
of course, on the title of the famous book by Lu Xun, "Diary
of a Madman"). I’ll be including a few excerpts
here soon. If you have any feedback (good or bad), I’d
love to hear it.
It’s an indulgent project, I
know. If nothing else, I’ll have a record for myself
to learn from as the years go on. But maybe, just maybe,
this could be a tool for others in the business. A collection
of ideas and ideals. More perspectives, newer angles; evidence
of what makes this business so unique.
Read an Excerpt