Quotes by Jerry Della Femina

I invented myself.
- Jerry Della Femina
Good products win out.
- Jerry Della Femina
I want to die at my desk.
- Jerry Della Femina
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I am a temporary amusement.
- Jerry Della Femina
Every automobile ad looks alike.
- Jerry Della Femina
I'm a driver, and I love it.
- Jerry Della Femina
My day is spent hiding from people.
- Jerry Della Femina
Thank you for making me nouveau riche.
- Jerry Della Femina
My first marriage ended after 24 years.
- Jerry Della Femina
I couldn't get along with the French.
- Jerry Della Femina
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Nobody can write a good 30-second commercial.
- Jerry Della Femina
Sad to say, negative advertising really works.
- Jerry Della Femina
I always had more women working for me than men.
- Jerry Della Femina
Most account guys live with fear in their hearts.
- Jerry Della Femina
I have a small vocabulary, which I move around fast.
- Jerry Della Femina
On the weekends, some people garden; I slice salmon.
- Jerry Della Femina
There are no client conflicts, only bad explanations.
- Jerry Della Femina
The French are simply incapable of telling the truth.
- Jerry Della Femina
I've never met a client who wants to be the worst.
- Jerry Della Femina
I don't remember most of the '60s and '70s.
- Jerry Della Femina
The fact is, Joe Isuzu is very successful at selling cars.
- Jerry Della Femina
Kids don't know what life was like without cell phones.
- Jerry Della Femina
Everybody makes a lot of money when the French come to town.
- Jerry Della Femina
'Business Week' is guilty of very shoddy reporting.
- Jerry Della Femina
Advertising should always be in good taste without a question.
- Jerry Della Femina
A lot of its readers are of an age where they forget to cancel.
- Jerry Della Femina
If the FBI is now in charge of bad taste, we're all doomed.
- Jerry Della Femina
People don't generally like advertising that takes a stand.
- Jerry Della Femina
'Mad Men' is celebrating a time that no longer exists.
- Jerry Della Femina
Once you're not No. 1, it doesn't matter where you are.
- Jerry Della Femina
I was the first advertising person who people could identify with.
- Jerry Della Femina
Almost everything looks better from a distance, Long Island included.
- Jerry Della Femina
The bad guys always fight dirty, and the good guys always fight clean.
- Jerry Della Femina
The Hamptons are filled with people who are winners Monday through Friday.
- Jerry Della Femina
If people ever talked the way advertising sounded, they would be put away.
- Jerry Della Femina
I'm happy to pay my fair share - which is whatever the tax is right now.
- Jerry Della Femina
There's an eternal war between a creative person and the business person.
- Jerry Della Femina
I don't come from a lot of money. In fact, I don't come from any money.
- Jerry Della Femina
With all my outside activities, I have to remind people I am really in advertising.
- Jerry Della Femina
Once people feel comfortable with something, they say, 'Let's try it.'
- Jerry Della Femina
I honestly believe that advertising is the most fun you can have with your clothes on.
- Jerry Della Femina
There's nothing worse than winning but being told by people that you're losing.
- Jerry Della Femina
I gotta be involved. I still write ads; I still run around and rally the creative people.
- Jerry Della Femina
Humor works, and it's the best way to get attention without spending a lot of money.
- Jerry Della Femina
It goes back to all of us wanting to be in Hollywood. We're all dying to win an Oscar.
- Jerry Della Femina
Most of the people in advertising now - mention Bill Bernbach to them, they don't know.
- Jerry Della Femina
I'm careful to pay every single penny on my taxes. I don't have any money offshore.
- Jerry Della Femina
Today's merger makers are not ad people; they're building communications companies.
- Jerry Della Femina
A computer is a wonderful thing, but it's cold, and what comes out of it is sort of cold.
- Jerry Della Femina
Whether you're a mafia guy or in advertising, you always end up going back to your family.
- Jerry Della Femina
The object of advertising is to get people to feel better about the product you're selling.
- Jerry Della Femina
You can't be impatient about growth, because that's what leads people to make mistakes.
- Jerry Della Femina
If they can't suck money out of the Hamptons, a candidate really has to throw in the sponge.
- Jerry Della Femina
Advertising is what I do. It's got me everything I have, and I'm not going to leave it.
- Jerry Della Femina
Probably the best advertising jobs of all are done by governments to convince people to go to war.
- Jerry Della Femina
Why do all our friends and relatives destroy the summer for us? Why can't they get married in February?
- Jerry Della Femina
What I love about the Don Draper character is that he's so real and filled with all these contradictions.
- Jerry Della Femina
The establishment can't change. It can't give people anything different; it can't make the turn.
- Jerry Della Femina
No one wants to risk a million dollars on a few laughs. The big, flashy commercials are out. The soft sell is out.
- Jerry Della Femina
I only know two to three people that I grew up with in advertising in the 1960s who are married to the same women.
- Jerry Della Femina
As long as the attitude is to only show the sheet metal, then automobile advertising will continue to be wretched.
- Jerry Della Femina
Pictures bring you inside, whether you see yourself driving a new car or as a hapless prisoner who is being abused.
- Jerry Della Femina
I came from a poor family in Coney Island. I learned to write by reading the 'Post.' This was my education.
- Jerry Della Femina
The whole idea of a spokesman is a joke and a fraud if you drop someone like a hot potato if there's controversy.
- Jerry Della Femina
It is now possible to target adverts to the right person at the right time in the right place. But that is not enough.
- Jerry Della Femina
That's great advertising when you can turn Chicago into a city you'd want to spend more than three hours in.
- Jerry Della Femina
I've seen very few Hispanics and blacks who have been able to work their way into the advertising end of business.
- Jerry Della Femina
I think it's good to have switched to a much more visual world and that people are not all that interested in words.
- Jerry Della Femina
I'm waiting for the candidate who says, 'I'm keeping things exactly the way they are. I like it this way.'
- Jerry Della Femina
If you look at 'Mad Men,' it's set in the wrong decade. The style of Mad Men is really the 1950s, not the 1960s.
- Jerry Della Femina
Sometimes you have to scare people to save their lives. But I'm very much against it if you're trying to sell a product.
- Jerry Della Femina
Did I grow up thinking I'd ever be paged at the Beverly Hills Hotel? Did I ever think I'd make so much money writing ads? No.
- Jerry Della Femina
People who are visiting Long Island find it's very beautiful, and they are quick to try Long Island foods, wines and other products.
- Jerry Della Femina
Money is being wasted on adverts that go right over a consumer's head. They may win awards at Cannes, but they lose at the cash register.
- Jerry Della Femina
No kid ever graduated school and said, 'I want to go into advertising.' Advertising is almost everyone's second or third choice.
- Jerry Della Femina
Life was easy was back in the days before human resource departments controlled business and someone decided we all should be politically correct.
- Jerry Della Femina
My grandmother would start making her meat sauce at 7 in the morning on Sunday, and within five or six hours, that smell would be all through the house.
- Jerry Della Femina
In my world - advertising - the Super Bowl is judgment day. If politicians have Election Day and Hollywood has the Oscars, advertising has the Super Bowl.
- Jerry Della Femina
The Google model of targeted advertising is appealing because it claims to cut down on waste. We need to ask how that efficiency can be brought to creative process.
- Jerry Della Femina
The Internet is king. Newspapers are dead or dying. Magazines are shrinking every day. Ad budgets are being cut. The bottom line is now the only line in advertising.
- Jerry Della Femina
There is a great deal of advertising that is much better than the product. When that happens, all that the good advertising will do is put you out of business faster.
- Jerry Della Femina
I think people are getting bored of parties, and hosts are terrified nobody's going to show up. So they have to start entertaining them before the party even starts.
- Jerry Della Femina
I don't want people ever to think I'm not in advertising. It's such a business of enthusiasm that if you're not totally excited about it, you should leave it.
- Jerry Della Femina
Imagine there wasn't photography. Where would we be? How would I remember what I looked like as a kid? It links us all. It keeps us all together; it's what our history is.
- Jerry Della Femina
In the '50s and '60s, a family's first child went into the priesthood, the second went into the military, and the third child was an idiot and wound up in advertising.
- Jerry Della Femina
Husbands and wives fight, and when the wife is packing up, the husband says, 'Don't leave! I'm gonna change!' Marriages stay together because people promise to change.
- Jerry Della Femina
Let's face it: in advertising, you are paid more, but you die younger. It's not very forgiving. Like sports stars, you're in it during your better years, and then you're out looking for work.
- Jerry Della Femina
The Democrats are going the way of Burma Shave and Crisco - products everyone loved and had in their homes. But they got old. They didn't have anything new to say about the product, and after awhile, they died.
- Jerry Della Femina
There's still a place for someone to come up with a strong headline, some copy in a commercial that's well written. I'm not saying it was better in the old days; it's just a totally different way of communicating.
- Jerry Della Femina
I once attended an advertising conference held at the Greenbrier Hotel in 1968. The dean of the original Mad Men, the great David Ogilvy, was the keynote speaker. The subject of his speech was the new creative revolution in advertising.
- Jerry Della Femina
There's something that goes on in a new-business meeting that's wonderful to watch. It's like showtime. There are people who are nervous, and there are people who are jittery, and there's so much drama and so much at stake.
- Jerry Della Femina
In our quest to tweet, like, and trend, we have forgotten that brands can be built through advertising. Ads can generate big ideas that can never be trumped by tactics. That is the magic of an ad, and that is what is missing from many ads today.
- Jerry Della Femina
I came into advertising in 1961. I had been turned down for jobs on the Ford account in the late Fifties as 'not their type.' If it hadn't been for Bill Bernbach, I would now be sitting in some luncheonette, continuing my life as a messenger.
- Jerry Della Femina
I came into the advertising business in 1952, at the age of sixteen, as a delivery boy for a stuffy, old-line advertising agency named Ruthruff and Ryan, which could have served as the setting for the 'Mad Men' television series without moving a desk.
- Jerry Della Femina
By 1961, when I got my first copywriting job, 'my kind' were suddenly in demand. The creative revolution had begun. Advertising had turned into a business dominated by young, funny, Jewish copywriters and tough, sometimes violent, Greek and Italian art directors.
- Jerry Della Femina
At one point, I had over 800 employees, and I always paid all health care for my people - including a man who was my assistant who got HIV. I wound up paying his medical bills, which went into the hundreds of thousands. I'm not making myself out to be a saint. I did the right thing.
- Jerry Della Femina
I ran for political office in the Hamptons once in a war I was having with the village. I came in, there were four people running, and I came in around third. It was over my food market - they arrested me. I just wanted to go for office because I thought it would be an interesting to do.
- Jerry Della Femina
I have very talented art directors in my agency who start out telling me, 'Well, this is what the picture is... ' I ask, 'Well, what's the headline?' and they say, 'We haven't done that yet, but it looks this way.' But I'm still writing copy, almost every day.
- Jerry Della Femina
I grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., and I'm a great believer that you can't have too conservative a President nor too liberal a Supreme Court. So I'm a walking contradiction. I believe that you should try to really protect people's rights in every way, and also, people should be allowed to do what they do.
- Jerry Della Femina
I don't like to work for politicians because I hate to work on anything that you can't give back if it doesn't work. I sell products. I do a commercial for, say, Meow Mix, and you don't like it, you get your money back. You can return it. Politicians, you can't return. You're with them for four more years. And that's scary.
- Jerry Della Femina

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