chuukyuu Please tell me how DDB was when Mr. Bernbach started it? It was a small agency.
Mrs. Robinson It was a small agency. There were twelve people in all including telephone operator.
The creative department was Mr. Bernbach at the head, Bob Gage as head art director, myself as copy chief. I had no one else at all and Bob Gage had just a very few assistants, paste-up poeple and so forth that he needed to physically put the work together. It was very exciting. Ofcourse we didon't really have the great sense of pioneering that we have in retrospect. It was more like kids being let out of school. We felt free and spring. Perhaps I should correct myself. I say we didn't have a sense of pioneering, only because that sounds a as if we had broken oue shackles, had gotten out of jail, and were free to work the way we wanted to work.
Mrs. Robinson In all the important ways I would say yes. Of couse no agency of thousands of employees can have exactly the same atomosphere as a place in which there are only twelve employees. But in the all important ways, it is free. First of all, the feeling that any idea, no matter how wild it may seem, is welcome and should be considered. There are no restrictions on one's creative freedom. In fact, there is even an increasing demand for free and highiy imaginative ideas. Another kind of freedom that people comment on that is as natural as breathing to us, is the informality, the sort of relaxed, informal atomosphere, very, very casual. Perhaps to your eyes it is very American. But I have always noticed that this atomosphere was very striking even to other Americans in the businrss.
In the years when I was doing a great deal of interviewing of writers, poeple had to wait sometimes outside my office and there were comments sort of breathless, wide-eyed and suprised of, "I love it here. Everybody seems so happy. Everybody talks to everybody". I think we talk more per person than any other agency. This has always struck people from the very beginning. People who come from more rigid, organized, formal setting in the agency business are always struck by this. I think the two things work hand in hand. Within such a free atomosphere, free idias can come out. Also, in the atomosphere in which free ideas are allowed to come out, one can flex more and be more at home. I think one serves the other.