Hall of Fame Copywriter On Running A Great Agency: Stuff The Place Full of Talent

David Abbott, the retired chairman and creative director of Abbott Mead Vickers in London, is one of this year’s inductees into the Advertising Hall of Fame.

Abbott, an Oxford grad, started as a copywriter at Mather & Crowther, and later worked for DDB in New York and London.

According to Rance Crain of Ad Age, AMV selectively picked its clients based on personal likeability. Abbott also says running an agency is no big.

Mr. Abbott contended that running a great advertising agency is not very difficult. “You basically stuff the place full of talent and allow that talent to bloom. So you have to have something that makes the great people want to come and work for you. And it’s never money. You can always earn more money at a bad agency because they need you more.”

“But,” he cautioned, “you don’t do great work in a bad agency. And that’s what drives people. You know, you basically don’t need to crack a whip. They’re cracking whips on themselves.”

Last year, Abbott’s first novel, The Upright Piano Player, was published and the reviews have been positive. The Los Angeles Times says, “Abbott has peered over the edge to write this gripping novel, a reminder of how little control we have over our lives.”

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About David Burn

Native Nebraskan seeking the perfect pale ale in the Pacific Northwest. Copywriter and brand strategist at Bonehook. Co-founder and editor of AdPulp.

  • http://twitter.com/MediaFiche MediaFiche

    The most talented team wins the majority of the time in sports, so why wouldn’t it work in advertising?

  • http://done4ucopywriter.com Judith

    This rings true.  The only thing that beats doing what you enjoy is being allowed to fully explore your talent’s possibilities.  This makes work not only fulfilling but also inspires you to achieve even more.  Thanks for this post.  Now I’m off to find a copy of Abbott’s novel.  :)