chuukyuu To pursue this career, what steps did you take-schooling, training in writing, experiences with other agencies?
Mr.Rich I did take some advertising courses in college but I found them very unuseful. I did take a course in photography when I was sixteen years old to be a professional photographer. Most of the learning I did really was by working for lots of different agencies and- learni'ng their viewpoints, rejecting some and adopting others. And I had many jobs in my seventeen years.
I really got a cross section of viewpoints: Every agcncy thinks they have the "answer to life" in advertising. I adoptcd the things I found worth adopting and rejected the things which I found worth rejecting.
Mr.Rich Before joining DDB, I had worked at I guess ten different agencies.The one right before DDB, I can't remember well I think it was Gardner Advertising and I worked there for six months. I was not thrilled with working there, to say the least.
chuukyuu Do you remember what you wrote to Miss Wells to ask for a position? What was her answer to you?
Mr.Rich I didn't write to Miss Wells. I ran an advertisement in the New York Times on the advertising page. I got answers from just about every advertising agency in New York offering me jobs. One of the answers was from Miss Wells. And I sent my samples up to the agency and was eventually hired there.
While there I knew her but we did not work closely together at all. Miss Wells was at DDB and she was the one who did contact me.
chuukyuu What accounts did you first handle at DDB?
Mr.Rich The accounts I worked on at DDB were Thorn MeAn Shoes and some divisions of Olin Mathieson Chemical Corporation. I also did a little work on Polaroid and a little work on Chemstrand, but my principal assignments were Thorn MeAn Shoes and Olin.
chuukyuu Did you learn anything at DDB?
Mr.Rich Yes, I learned a lot at DDB. DDB was the first agency I worked for that let me do television. Television was supposed to be a very mystical, magical thing left only for special people with special knowledge. I always maintain television was easier to do than print. I learned a great deal at DDB, but I can't say how much. I learned there as apposed to any other agency, because I feel I learned a great deal at all the agencies. I came into being at DDB, for which I'm entirely grateful to them.
chuukyuu Why did you leave DDB? And where did you go?
Mr.Rich I left DDB because I had gone as far as I felt I could go there and I wanted to get much farther and left them. I went from DDB to Grey Advertising for about two months, then went to Papert, Koenig, Lois for about four months and I went to Leber Katz Paccione for about three days. Then I came to work at Jack Tinker & Partners.
Mary Wells soon contacted me and she asked me to join them and I did.
chuukyuu At Jack Tinker & Partners, what accounts did you handle besides Alka-Seltzer?
Mr.Rich At Jack Tinker & Partners, when there, the first account they had as an agency was Alka-Seltzer, so consequently, I did work on Alka-Seltzer.
Beyond the Alka-Seltzer when we started getting other accounts, I did not work on them directly but I did supervise them all and I hired all the writers there who worked on the other accounts.