The first and only time I ever heard Ron Anderson use a four-letter word

It was my first month at Bozell/NY and probably Ron’s third month since moving from Minneapolis.

My partner, award-winning copywriter Mike LaMonica, and I had just shared (with Ron’s blessing) a new campaign for SEVENTEEN magazine with the Account team.

It was a short meeting.

The top person said “Well, I don’t like it. And the client won’t either. So I suggest you guys start over. In the meantime I’ll call the client and reschedule our presentation.”

Shell-shocked, we went to Ron’s office. Not to whine. Just as an FYI.

BJK&E Copy Strategy Brief

Ron sat silent as we filled him in. Then he asked for a copy of the copy strategy brief. He stared at it for what seemed like an abnormally long time.

He took off his glasses—probably for dramatic effect—and said, “I’m looking at the Target Audience.

“Nowhere does it say (insert name of top account person) is the target audience.”

Then for the first and only time I ever witnessed, he got mad.

“I didn’t uproot my family and move to NY to shovel $#*!.

“(Insert name of top account person) can’t make me shovel $#*!.

“Even Chuck Peebler (Bozell CEO) can’t make me shovel $#*!.

“If this is the way it’s going to be, I’ll be on a plane back to Minneapolis so fast, their heads will spin.”

I don’t remember what happened next.

But this I do remember:

During my four-year stint at Bozell/NY, a sensational Strategic/Creative collaborative culture blossomed and flourished.

No doubt Ron had something to do with it.

Editor’s Note: Never underestimate the value of a tightly-defined strategy. For a blank copy of the creative brief Ron helped author—plus instructions on how to use it—click Copy Strategy Briefs.

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