My first new car and first car ad account was Pontiac
I was recruited and came to work in the Hills of Bloomfield for MacManus, John and Adams (MJ&A), not to work on one of the agency’s General Motors accounts — Pontiac, Cadillac, GM Corporate and Mr. Goodwrench — but as the account supervisor for Hush Puppies shoes. I had been the advertising director of a major, multi-brand-gender shoe company.
There’s a back-story of how Hush Puppies with that big, slobbering, ungainly Bassett Hound living logo account morphed into my working on Pontiac, so please allow me a little reflection.
The account, I learned the first day, that was in deep you-know-what. Hush Puppies parsimonious veep of advertising in Rockford, MI was going justifiably nuts over wastrel profligate budgets, hated the creative, wanted exciting “VW-type” advertising, thought the agency team ineffective and was threatening to fire MJ&A, unless they hired someone with shoe industry experience to supervise the account.
That would be me.
“Get the damn account in line,” I was admonished by Chuck Adams, the president of the agency. Lovely first day. And it wasn’t even lunch time.
The second day was worse. I got the client’s side of the story in a very long meeting, and it was not nice. The client told me, “Shape up the agency or it’s fired.” (more…)