Steve Simpson

Past Perfect

David Ogilvy is the most familiar brand name in advertising. His fame lives on in the name of a global company, on the dust-jackets of two books worth reading (and one not worth reading), and in dozens of querulous quotes.

Why Brands and Politics Don’t Mix

“Republicans buy shoes too.” -Michael Jordan The nomination of Elena Kagan to fill the seat of retiring Justice John Paul Stevens has reheated an issue that is now the most […]

Rewriting the Book

The Apple iPad is now launched and even before the applause dies it will be confronted by a crowd of competitors: other PC makers moving in from one side and […]

Revolution Diary

As I grow older (I am nearly 27), there are days in which the appeal of this revolutionist’s life palls. Month follows month, and it is always the same: the […]

Hope, Change, Spam

They said this day would never come. They said our sights were set too high. They said this country was too divided, too disillusioned, to ever come together around a […]

Why So Sad, Mad Men?

Someone halfway clever has probably already written the following end-of-the-year column: Donald Draper’s Review of the Year in Advertising for 1963 and Preview of 1964. Probably it will have “Draper” […]

Confessions of a Scam Artist

Dear M., It was so good to hear news of you. I saw you quoted in a trade magazine, a week old, smuggled into my quarters here. I don’t know […]

Advertising’s Cash for Clunkers

Green shoots are springing up all around us. Solar panels glitter like diamonds in dun-colored subdivisions. Shovels rhythmically turn topsoil to lay the foundation for a clean, smooth, buttery new […]

Win a Kangaroo, Part II

A month ago a few paragraphs appeared here in praise of Howard Gossage, a 1960s’ San Francisco advertising man whose work anticipated our current concern with teasing the public into […]

Win a Kangaroo!

Once, in San Francisco, there was a tradition in advertising circles that, although informally observed, seemed an invariable part of the copywriter’s portfolio review. After leafing through a few flimsy […]