president of Papert Koenig Lois Inc.
to the Advertising Writers Association of New York
April 19. 1966
We are a business of amateurs, and it's all up for grabs, all of exercising our democratic right to be wrong.
Instead of being resigned to amateurism, I suggest this club---AWANY--- take the lead in collaing thos rules of and research that can discipline us in making ads that work better.
Instead of leaving copy courses to Casey, I suggest this club is the proper auspice for creating profes sionalism among, our beginners.
If my Bill can do it, your Bill can do it.
Well, it's been a long and lovely night and a sweet succession of years.
Frankly I don't know why I'm here.
I have no omniscience, no gospel, no easy way out and more questions than answers.
I recall some 10,000 ads ago when my only expectancy was becoming the oldest living copywriter and I finished each ad with no hope of getting an idea for the next.
I may have been right on both counts.
I spent years in an agency where I couldn't get an ad, through, and I learned how to handicap horses in self defense.
I got a job with Doyle Dane Bernbach not on the basis of ads I had done, but on a rough that never ran.
I left DDB and the best job in advertising with George Lois to join Fred Papert because I was stupid.
We should have been bankrupt within a month.
I invariably guess which ad pulls best, worst. Yet here I am tonight, right along with Casey Stengel.
Our agency's motto is "honesty is the best policy," and we don't think we have the right to bore people.
Tell the truth, make it interesting.
There's no mystique to advertising.
It's a human equation: I here, you there and I tell you what I think.
But that's hardly worthy of a book.
If I leave you with any message, it's this:
the simpler, the better.
Till form and content are one and the same.
I'd like to thank my partners and all the people at Papert, Koenig, Lois for having made me a statesman.
And I'd like to thank all of you for honoring me tonight.