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Joe's Roots

Cambridge, MA 1975. Joe was ad director at Polaroid, here with long-time Doyle Dane Bernbach SVP Management Supervisor and key leader on the Polaroid Account, John Fenyo.


John was arguably one of the best account people in advertsing then, and could most likely still hold that title now. The Polaroid - DDB philosophy was to team young clients with seasoned account service execs to create strong client-agency teams that operated effectively, communicated skillfully, performed seamlessly, an effective way to creative great marketing and advertising.

There were only two careers that interested me as a kid. I was either going to be the centerfielder for the NY Yankees, or work in advertising. 


The ultimate decision was forced by the curve ball. Specifically, the fact that I couldn’t hit it, so advertising was it. 


From the beginning, I was never bored, and never woke up in the morning dreading what I had to do to earn a living. I worked for great agencies, starting at Ogilvy & Mather, NW Ayer where I learned the international business running Pan Am and really growing up at Doyle Dane Bernbach in its glory days. 


At Ogilvy, David Ogilvy was still coming into the office every day when I started in the account management training program, and I was lucky enough to have had personal contact with him. 


Bill Bernbach was also still alive and a presence at DDB when I started, and along the way I was also lucky to work with creative legends like Bob Gage, Helmut Krone, Phyllis Robinson, and Jack Dillon on Polaroid and IBM. 


I worked on the client side of the business at Polaroid and American General, and was COO of DeWitt Media. 


But at heart, I was an agency guy.


And despite the sea of changes in the business starting with the consolidations of the 80’s, and the onset of the digital revolution, I still see it as the business that I loved so much that I once commented that I hoped the management would never find out that I would do it for free.

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