Speaker: by Mrs.Lore Parker
Vice President & Copy-Supervisor, DDB(1966)
Now I am sure you are most interested to know how Bill Bernbaoh enters into this creative process. Two things never cease to amaze me. One is that, with over 60 accounts in the United States alone, Bill is constantly up-to-date on everything that goes on with every ad and commercial written. The second thing is that his door is always open.
You will find this hard to believe, but the President of a 180 million dollar agency, employlng l,300 people, wits in an office with an ever-open door. If I have a question to ask, or a campaign to be approved, I just walk in. There 1s no barricade of secretaries.
Bill has half a secretary (he modestly shares her with Ned Doyle), and she sits in a different office and does not even see me.
The only thing that may delay me is a bunch of other creative people, waiting outside Bl1l's door with layouts and storyboards under their arms, waiting for his opinion. I have seen Bill avoid interviewers, reporters, phone calls from all kinde of important people -- in order to flnlsh diecusslng a phrase or a photograph with his creative poople.
This open-door policy has an amazing psyehologica1 effect on us all.
It glves us a senee of belonging --- of inspiration emanating from the 26th Floor. I noticed this when I spent 2 months on a special project at our Dasseldorf office in Germany. Here I was no longer one flight of atiars removed from Bi11 Bernbach, but 5,0OO ml1es.
It took a week by letter to get a reaction from Blil. The personal contact was lost. I felt orphaned, cast-out, and it wae much more difficult to do good work.
But that's not all. Often, when you are looking for Bill Bernbach, you will find him sitting in an art director's office, juet visiting with the creative team. In his rare spare moments, you may come acroee him wandering through the oreative floor, poking his head into offices and ask1ng how we are doing on this or that project.
He knows precisely who is working on what. He remembers every sentence in every ad on every account. The other day he startled me by telling me verbatim what various people had said in a meeting with a client about 6 months ago.
These client meeting are really something. Bill will walk in, not knowing anything about the subject of the meeting. He will listen attentively, ask a question or two, and five minutes later will be completely up-to-date. From then on he will take over he meeting, and matters which we were unable to settle for an hour will be settled in 10 minutes.