Old Ad Guy Misses the Old 'Ad Game'

Joe Cappo retired Monday as a senior vice president of Crain Communications Inc. He is a former publisher of Crain publication Advertising Age, and former world president of the International Advertising Association. He also is a former advertising columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Daily News. Cappo has a new book out called, "The Future of Advertising: New Media, New Clients, New Consumers in the Post-Television Age. Cappo pines for the old days:

These were heady days in the advertising business. With the exception of 1971, when cigarettes were banned from television and radio, advertising expenditures grew steadily. An expansive glow radiated over the industry for decades. It was the place to work for hordes of young people who would sacrifice anything to get a job in advertising.

Young men with Ivy League educations would take jobs in the mail room, hoping to get the attention of higher-ups so they might migrate into the media or the creative department. College-educated women would take jobs as receptionists, at pathetically low pay, hoping against hope to move up into the professional ranks or maybe only find a husband in the business. (This is not a sexist remark but a candid reflection of the times.)

This was the era of the legendary three-martini lunch. It actually was mostly legend, but in a few cases, it was harsh reality.

Whether it was Ratazzi's in New York or the Wrigley Building bar in Chicago, ad people had their favorite watering holes.

by Steve Hall    Jan-20-04   Click to Comment   

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