Carl Ally Inc. President, Copy Director
chuukyuu How did Mr. Ally, Mr. Gargano and you get together?
Mr.Durfee Carl, Amil and I met for the first time at Campbell Ewald, New York, in 1959. Carl had come here to get new business and supervise it. He needed creative help and Amil and I were transferred from Detroit to supply it. We soon found that we thought alike about most things in advertising and out of it developed a rare, lasting relationship based on mutual respect.
chuukyuu Did you discuss the decision with your wife?
Mr.Durfee The agency was a number of months in a planning stage. And yes, I did discuss it with my wife and she was for it too. With great financial sacrifice for all of us, by that I mean big pay cuts, we scraped together all the money we could beg and borrow and put it into the agency. I've seen poker pots that were bigger.
chuukyuu Did you leave Campbell Ewald for the new agency because of dissatisfaction with the philosophy?
Mr.Durfee No. With the exception of Doyle Dane Bernbach, I've never seen a big agency yet that has a philosophy.
chuukyuu What do you think of the atmosphere of the new agency?
Mr.Durfee The atmosphere is what we made it. And it seems to be a good one because our people stay with us. Especially our creative people. Nobody in this agency is asked to do things "our" way. We have a standard here that people recognize before they join us. In fact, it's the reason they join us. All we ask is that they outdo themselves their own way, adhering to the strategies and objectives agreed upon.
chuukyuu Are there any differences in the two situations, one being a copywriter and the other being one of the managers in your agency?
Mr.Durfee Yes, there is quite a difference. It's a hell of a lot more gratifying making ads than making business decisions. But on the other hand, an agency cannot survive without business decisions. And it cannot survive many bad ones. But it can survive any number of bad ads, as most agencies are proving every day.
chuukyuu How do you work with Mr. Gargano?
Mr.Durfee So closely that we seldom know which of us has contributed what to a project. He becomes part copywriter and I become part art director.
chuukyuu Do you think a copywriter can demonstrate his talent better working with an art director with whom he hits it off?
Mr.Durfee It's always easier to work with people you like than with people you don't like. However, it can be carried to ridiculous extremes, such as the two men teams that peddle themselves from agency to agency because they're "too good to be separated". They're also quite often too immature to be separated.