Without Ego There Is No Genius

Randall Rothenberg dropped in on Peter Arnell and lived to tell his Ad Age readers about it.

Mr. Arnell has been unquietly unmaking the concept of marketing services ever since he burst into view in the late 1980s with such out-of-the-box ideas as fashion ads that didn’t feature the products, city-inspired in-store installations and architect-designed teapots.
It’s all of a piece. “Da Vinci, Jefferson, Michelangelo — where would they be on an org chart?” Mr. Arnell, characteristically bluff, told me recently in his book-lined office overlooking Prince Street in Soho. “Ben Franklin founded the post office, invented electricity, even created a typeface. What’s he?”

Since, Rotherberg leaves Arnell’s rhetoric unanswered, feel free to sound off in our comments.

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. Peter Arnell was responsible for getting Celine Dion to be a spokesdiva for Chrysler.

  2. And that fact alone should see him strung up by his “high & holies” in Times Square — com’n — did we really need to give Celine additional coverage?