Name and title
David Altschiller, ceo/Chief creative officer, Altschiller Reitzfeld
Age and birthplace
52, New York City
Distinguishing features
Beard (since 1965), the cutest dimples (since birth)
After four years pre-med, I went to graduate school, majoring in English. I learned there is nothing one can do with a degree in English to earn a decent living. I stumbled into advertising.
Big break
My first job was in the creative training program at Benton and Bowles, which meant they put me in accounting and told me I was learning the business. A year later, still in accounting, I was playing baseball for the B&B team, when one of our players, Dick Lord, tripped over first base and broke his leg. It was my big break, too. He was one of the creative directors. I carried him out of Central Park, and he carried me out of accounting and into creative.
Best career move
Leaving a vice presidency at a big, mediocre agency to become a copywriter at a tiny, unknown agency, Carl Ally. It became, in my estimation, the best agency of its time at perhaps the best time in advertising history.
Worst career move
Starting an agency with no accounts and no idea how to get any. The first three years were a mixture of euphoria and fear of momentary death.
Luckiest career move
Teaming up art directors Amil Gargano, Ralph Ammirati, Roy Grace, Rick Levine, Ron Barrett, and of course, Robert Reitzfeld.
Current reading
Andy Berlin’s press
What do you intend to read next?
Jerry Della Femina’s press
Favorite ad
My next one
Least favorite ad
My next one
Why do you like working on Liz Claiborne?
They have respect for women. They have a respect for advertising. And they have respect for us.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)