Jerry Della Femina Calls Bullshit on Bob Bly


Mothers of Invention Founder Robert Rosenthal points us to Bob Bly's blog on which he takes to task Jerry Della Femina for comments he made in a New York Post article. Della Femina said of the advertising business, "It went from being a business of fun to being a business of money, and that changes everything."

Bly agrees advertising should be fun but it should also be considered work and their should be any fun-having with the client's money.

Della Femina himself puts the whole thing to rest, commenting, "What bullshit. I took Isuzu, Becks Beer, Blue Nun Wine, Meow Mix,Zip Lock bags, Dow Bathroom Cleaner, Air Wick stickups from tiny accounts or startups to giant profitable companies. That made all their stockholders a ton of money [and] I did it while I was drunk and having fun. Imagine if I was sober."

Touche, Jerry. Bring back the Mad Men and the three martini lunch!

by Steve Hall    Sep-14-07   Click to Comment   
Topic: Agencies   

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I met Della Fema once. He rules.

Posted by: Matt Brand on September 14, 2007 1:47 PM

Did a post on AdScam about this a week or so ago... Bob Bly, who's written the same book over fifty times, took what Jerry said out of context. When Jerry made the comment about it all being about money now, he was referring to the four fucking conglomerates all being run by bean counters, such as "The Poisoned Dwarf," so it's all about making the numbers every three months. As the CFO of one of "His Gnomeship's" agencies once said... "Fuck the work, what about the money?" Jerry was dead right. Bob Bly should stick to writing bad DM books.

Posted by: George Parker on September 14, 2007 3:27 PM

He's right. It was true then, and it's true now: if you're not having fun in Advertising, you're doing it wrong. (And no, the occasional Hawaiian Shirt Day at the office doesn't cut it.) Mr. Della Femina, on behalf of Creatives everywhere, I salute you. Doing right by your client and having fun at the same time is easy, assuming you have talent. Only someone without any would tell you any different.

Posted by: Wade Sturdivant on September 14, 2007 4:05 PM

there should be. not their should be.
Just figured I'd mention it...

Posted by: Szisz on September 14, 2007 4:12 PM

there should be. not their should be.
Just figured I'd mention it...

Posted by: Szisz on September 14, 2007 4:14 PM

couldn't care less about these two old farts.

Posted by: jones on September 14, 2007 5:40 PM

One of the reasons I went into advertising was a ratty old copy of his book From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbour.

Every other advertising book I've read since has been a dim candle. I nearly peed my pants reading it (due to laughter, not intoxication). I wanted to be like Jerry.

I don't even know who Bob Bly is.

Posted by: Sean on September 14, 2007 7:59 PM

jerry lived large. bob bly seems a bit dull by comparison.

Posted by: veedub on September 14, 2007 10:36 PM

Mr. Bly-- As someone who had the honor of being a Creative Director at Jerry Della Femina's agency I can tell you that success is fun. Doing great work that people talk about is fun. Taking clients from zero to household names in record time is fun. It takes a lot of exciting, gutsy, brilliant, charming, fun people to make provocative, pursuasive and memorable advertising, period.
If people were having too much fun with the clients money I didn't hear many complaints from those clients. Probably because they were busy having fun making too much money.
We still work in a great business today. It's broader and deeper and now crosses over other exciting industries beautifully. The only thing it's missing are the great characters who made making a lot of money a lot of fun. Thanks Jerry.

Posted by: rich russo on September 15, 2007 10:06 PM