His Job Is To Shed Light Not To Master

Howard Gossage was an inspiring man. A rogue gentleman who plied his trade in the city by the Bay. An academic who taught advertising at Penn State and wrote eloquently about the business. A man who saw himself as a critic and reformer. A man of the people. A man with big ideas for the brands is his charge. He had an agency in a restored firehouse, with characters like Marshall McCluhan and Tom Wolfe dropping by for an afternoon chat and tea. He was also a man of outrageous, but dead-on statements, like this one:
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“Is advertising worth saving? From an economic point of view I don’t think that most of it is. From an aesthetic point of view I’m damn sure it’s not; it’s thoughtless, boring, and there is simply too much of it.” _HG

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.