George Parker: what do you know about Howard Gossage?

Just the other day I did a post on AdScam, my supremely popular blog… He said modestly, in the category of “I already knew that shit,” that a new Trust Index reports that doctors, scientists and teachers occupy the top three favorability-regarded occupation slots.

Filling the bottom three slots? Politicians, cabinet officials… And, you guessed it… Advertising executives. Even secondhand car salesmen and ambulance chasers kicked their arse. It reminded me of the great title of a book by French ad icon, Jacques Seguela… “Please don’t tell my mother I work in advertising. Tell her I play the piano in a brothel.” Yes indeed, we’ve all been there. However, not to complain. Multiple Platinum AmEx cards have funded a wonderful lifestyle. Well, OK that was back in the old days. Before celebrity CEO’s were found to have abused them in Shepherd Market.

Anyway, back to the purpose of this diatribe. I am driven to wonder if the data-driven, Metaverse, AI, WEB3, Avatars currently occupying the seats in today’s so-called ad agencies have any idea who the pioneers who broke the nauseating anvils in head, flames in stomachs mould of the fifties were? Reminds me of a time when I was trousering big bucks at JWT, New York. A young Art Director, Copy Writer team asked my opinion on a campaign they were doing for a food account. “Very nice” I said. Reminds me of what Mary Wells did for Betty Crocker at DDB in the sixties. Mary who? they asked. That’s like Bill who, David who, Ed who, even, God forbid… George who?

Enough bullshit. The whole purpose of this rant is to ask a question of the supremely erudite readers of Moreaboutadvertising. Just how many of you fuckers know who Howard Gossage (above) is, and how drastically he changed the ad biz? Happy to follow up and respond to non-asinine comments.

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About George Parker

George Parker has spent 40 years on Madison Avenue. He’s won Lions, CLIOs, EFFIES, and the David Ogilvy Award. His blog is adscam.typepad.com, which is required reading for those looking for a gnarly view of the world’s second oldest profession.” His latest book, Confessions of a Mad Man, makes the TV show Mad Men look like Sesame Street.

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