The Path to Priceless

Joyce King Thomas, the chief creative officer at McCann Erickson Worldwide’s flagship agency in New York had humble beginnings in this business–an encouraging fact for those who didn’t go from Portfolio Center straight to Wieden + Kennedy.
According to Career Journal:

First Post-College Job: I was offered two. One was working for Caterpillar as a brochure writer. I did not want to move to Peoria. The other was for a recruitment advertising agency in St. Louis called Worldwide Advertising, writing help-wanted ads. The job was fairly menial in some ways. I’d have to take dictation of a help-wanted ad on the phone and then rewrite it. I also wrote the brochures and whatever other materials human resources used for recruitment. I did that for nine months.
Career Path: When I arrived (at Wells in New York in 1982), I was at the bottom of the barrel. They’d been forced to hire me by someone really senior in Dallas who had moved to New York and was running the office. But he wasn’t running the creative department, and I had to be accepted by the creative department. Someone did try to get rid of me, but I managed to not let that happen.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. 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. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. High Standards says:

    That was in 1982. I know portfolio school graduates these days who can’t even get a job at a recruitment agency.

  2. ana ceppi says:

    In 1982 I started as a receptionist at an ad agency (was either that or paste-up artist– betcha no one knows what that is)… worked my way to account management and from 1996 to 2008 worked with Joyce…she looks better now!!.