Rothschild started her career at Doyle Dane

Rothschild started her career at Doyle Dane Bernbach in 1973, where she rose to evp, creative director by 1986—the year she founded her own shop, Grace & Rothschild. The agency created ads for Range Rover, among other clients. The 56-year-old is currently vice chairman of Della Femina Rothschild Jeary and Partners in New York.

How did you get into advertising?

I was a receptionist at an agency and I was thinking of law school. That’s what I planned to do, [but] I kind of got engaged by the challenge. Advertising essentially is problem solving and that can keep you going for a real long time.

If you could be known for only one piece of work that you did, what would it be?

I would say the Chivas Regal campaign, because it was my first, the first campaign that we really explored on. It was such a solid piece of thinking, and the work that had been done before I got on it was so well thought through and so logical. It’s very odd to have a rational camp for an alcoholic beverage too, but that was it. The other one has to be Land Rover, because … it was a virgin. That’s a very rare thing to get in advertising, where you can develop a whole image. It’s like the difference between adopting a 10-year-old child and raising an infant—that was an infant when it came.

What was the hardest moment of your career?

The day my daughter was born, because it was a gigantic conflict for me. I love my work … and I’m thankful that this has been my work for my whole life. But when you have a child, suddenly there’s this gigantic pull and it changes your life. On a different level, when BMW bought Land Rover, and they fired us. Because we felt a connection to that brand that was very deep.

What’s one thing you would change about the business if you could?

I would build in a greater inclination to experiment. People always call unusual advertising, or new or fresh advertising, risky. And I don’t think it’s risky; I think stale advertising is risky. I [agree with] clients or agencies that are willing to go a little bit from the norm and see what’s out there and do something surprising. If you don’t do that you’re wasting money. People always remember interesting, or what they would call creative, campaigns that don’t work, and they never remember the dull, boring, awful campaigns that don’t work, because they’re dull, boring and awful.