Remembering Jay Chiat

I was very saddened to hear the terrible news of Jay Chiat’s death. Naresh [Ramchandani] and I were hired by him many years ago as creative directors in the London office. And we were lucky enough to work with him on a couple of projects.

He was a fantastic character and has to be one of the most inspirational people we have ever met. He was kind, challenging, scary and cool.

The ad industry is a crappier place without someone like him around.

David Buonaguidi and Naresh Ramchandani
Creative directors

Jay was a renaissance man. He was a visionary, and he enriched the ad agency business. I was always happy when we competed with Jay for new business, as it would encourage our creative teams to work even harder. I am saddened by his death.

Harold Levine
Levine, Huntley, Schmidt and Beaver New York

Every copywriter and art director dreams of working at Chiat\Day at some point in their career. Jay Chiat is the reason. He may be gone, but his legacy will keep going and going and going and going ….

Vicky Oliver
Freelance copywriter New York

Job Seekers Need Smart Recruiters

I think Brooke-Lynn Luat’s letter [A&C, March 25] on being questioned by a clueless recruiter gives a good perspective on what new graduates are facing in today’s economy. As future advertising executives try to find their way into large, “brand-name” agencies, you have to wonder how many capable job seekers are swept under the rug by recruiters and human resource people that don’t know much about their industry.

At smaller agencies, people interview in front of those who would be their immediate supervisors. I think the new (and existing) crop needs to be judged on their character, willingness to learn and pure enthusiasm.

Chris Miller
Project manager
Fiore Associates
Morristown, N.J.

In Defense of Print Production

How unfortunate that the allegedly unethical actions of one individual are allowed to taint a whole profession, as in the case of Mitch Mosallem [April 1]. As the president of the Advertising Production Association of Los Angeles, I would like to offer a different viewpoint.

It is the role of the print production manager to execute a creative idea in the shortest amount of time and at the lowest cost while maintaining the highest level of quality possible. We work closely with outside vendors in an extremely competitive market. Since we are at the end of the creative chain, we often complete our work in the wee hours of the morning, which is not a problem, because we make ourselves available 24/7.

The relationships we form with our vendors are critical to the outcome of our projects. Vendors are an extension of our jobs and understand the importance of delivering a project on time, regardless of the number of obstacles we throw their way. Together, we make the impossible happen—we make the client look good.

To suggest that our profession revolves around payback, illegal billing practices and three-martini lunches is an insult to hundreds of hard-working individuals. Have you ever seen a blank page run in a magazine? I don’t think so.

We encourage agency management to scrutinize print production. They’ll find this “less glamorous outpost” a key component to their success.

Lynne Gullo

Advertising Production Association of Los Angeles

We Had to Ask

To answer Vincent Coppola’s question in his article on Baseball America: “Anyone know why the ‘K’ is reversed in one execution [of the Baseball America campaign]?” [April 8] Detail-conscious baseball scorers use a reverse “K” to record that the batter struck out looking. A regular forward “K” means he went down swinging.

Ken Norkin
Freelance Copywriter
KN Creative
Takoma Park, Md.

For the record: In Agency Report Cards [April 15]: Saatchi & Saatchi has submitted a revised revenue figure of $176 million for 2001, which represents a 14 percent decline rather than the 24 percent previously reported. That brings its “Number” grade up to D- from F, changing the agency’s overall grade to C- from D+.

The Hispanic agency LatinWorks joined Ogilvy & Mather’s Syndicate, it was not purchased by the WPP agency.

At FCB, Mel Sokotch is evp, director of consumer healthcare for FCB New York, not head of FCB Healthcare.

At davidandgoliath, Mike Braue is account director/new business development, not new-business chief.

Crispin Porter + Bogusky prevented layoffs by being “more cost-conscious,” an agency representative said. There were no agency-wide salary cuts.

Lee Michael’s Fine Jewelry print ads should have been credited to Trumpet, New Orleans, not Peter A. Mayer Advertising, also New Orleans.

Car maker Infiniti’s name was misspelled in TBWA\Chiat\Day’s report card. Also, the billings on Adidas’ account should have been listed as $45 million.

In the Top 100 National Agency list, the headquarters of Cramer-Krasselt, Chicago, was misidentified.

BaylessCronin in Atlanta, with 2001 revenue of $6.6 million, should have been listed No. 45 in the Top 50 Southeast Agency list. The information was not available at press time.

J. Walter Thompson in Los Angeles, with estimated revenue of $22 million and billings of $157 million, should have been listed as No. 27 in the Top 50 West Agency list.

In the Direct Response ranking, DraftWorldwide is the correct name for the No. 1 agency. Digitas should have been listed as No. 2, with $236 million in revenue.