I am probably the last person on the planet to begin to binge watch the TV series about the New York agency industry, Mad Men, which is altogether strange as I met many of those who were prototypes for the series, from David Ogilvy on down. So I Googled some… and found this from Steve Goldman’s site about a man called Jay Chiat.
I worked at Chiat/Day for 20 years when Jay Chiat was changing the rules of the ad business. And building, from scratch, one of the greatest creative agencies ever.
Many remember Jay’s natural ability to recognize talent and push people well beyond their limits. But most don’t know how he generated such extraordinary loyalty and dedication. Earning the agency moniker: “Chiat/Day & Night”.
Here’s a story of Jay’s fearless leadership when he dealt with Donald Trump, and its major impact on the agency.
When The Donald introduced Trump Airlines he wanted the “greatest” agency and chose Chiat/Day. Chiat produced some brilliant advertising for the Trump Shuttle.
But evidently ads not to Trump’s “taste”, who sent Jay a very nasty and threatening letter about the work and the agency. Nicely typed on beautiful gold-enladen stationery.
In uniquely Jay fashion, he replied with a hand-written note attached to Donald’s original letter that simply said:
I thought you should know that some lunatic has stolen your stationery.
And of course Chiat/Day was summarily fired.