The Fine Print

What was Jerry Della Femina doing with his hotel toiletries on the podium at the 4A’s Creative Conference in San Francisco recently?

“I rubbed bath gel into my beard and followed it with shampoo, thinking it was conditioner,” he told the puzzled crowd. His point, it turned out, was point size.

Della Femina saw the 4A’s forum as an opportunity to talk up a favorite cause: making life easier for the visually impaired. “Make sure every ad coming out of your agency is readable,” urged the 63-year-old chairman and CEO of Della Femina Roths child Jeary and Partners in New York and board member of advocacy group Lighthouse International. Instead of using 8-point type, he advised, use 10; instead of 10-point, make it 12.

“We’re talking about going up a little bit,” he tells Shoptalk. “Ninety-seven million people are at an age where they have some change in their ability to see. We’re talking about making advertising a lot more appealing. Consumers will look at the ad and read it.”

Della Femina’s agency produced a pro bono campaign addressing the creative community on behalf of Lighthouse last year. “It became clear that people who prepare the ads are young art directors with eyes like eagles, and people who read the ads are over 40, 50 and 60,” he says.