David Ogilvy Loved Fire-Eaters And Golden Geese

I love this long copy ad from the Ogilvy & Mather archive. It’s endowed with more attitude per paragraph than I’ve seen in years.

Clearly, this ad is from another time.

While dated, the agency self-promo ad contains plenty of sage advice and a call to action. The ad concludes by asking those in need of a new agency to call the agency Chairman in London. Or else.

Here is some of the advice: “Don’t keep a dog and bark yourself. Any fool can write a bad advertisement, but it takes a genius to keep his hands off a good one.”

Ogilvy also said this: “They (clients) get the advertising they deserve. Some behave so badly that no agency could produce effective advertising for them. Some behave so well that no agency could fail to do so.”



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 at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.