‘A Journey Without a Destination’

Copywriter Rich Herstek Quits Arnold to Follow Personal Pursuits
BOSTON–Rich Herstek will likely be the envy of his peers–and little could be more satisfying for him.
Last week was his last at Arnold Communications, where for the last two years he has penned scores of ads for clients including the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Converse, the Food and Drug Administration and Fleet Financial Group.
Herstek and his wife, Sarah Peck, are moving to Paris, where Herstek said he plans to “purge myself of a long list of writing projects.”
“It worked for Victor Hugo,” he quipped.
Herstek, 45, said he intends to stay abroad for as long as the money lasts. “Officially I’m telling people that I’m leaving the business, but this really is a journey without a destination.”
Herstek, who rose to prominence in creative circles with humorous ads for Converse and a steady stream of evocative spots for the Bay State’s Tobacco Control Program, was not involved in the Boston agency’s recent pitch for the first national contract to combat the forces of Big Tobacco. “There were a lot of generals on that business,” he said.
In recent months he was the chief writer on the Fleet account, which at press time was rumored to be headed to crosstown rival Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos.
Herstek said his decision to leave was made several weeks ago when his wife, a former art director whom he met when they worked at Ingalls, returned home holding a coffee mug emblazoned with a cartoon that showed an office worker peering into space between overflowing in and out boxes. An angel and a devil sitting on either shoulder are both telling the worker the same thing: “Quit your job.”
Asked about Herstek’s decision to leave, Arnold chief creative officer Ron Lawner said only, “How do you expect to keep ’em down on the farm when they’ve seen Paree?” A replacement is being sought.