Some jobs are geographically dependent.
Want to be a country singer? You better move to Nashville. How about acting on the big screen? You need to call LA home. Serious about venture capital? Silicon Valley is the spot.
For decades, a profile job in consumer advertising required a New York City address. Global ad shops huddled together on Madison Avenue and were responsible for directing the vast majority of TV spend.
Sure, other cities boasted respected ad communities. Yet, to be truly in the game an agency needed to stake out its turf in the Big Apple.
Earle Palmer Brown resisted the call of the big city when starting his firm in 1952. His vision was to build a national ad shop based in Washington, DC, considered by industry pundits to be a marginally talented advertising community at best.
Brown’s self-named agency soared to a level unseen by any of his predecessors or peers. He attracted profile clients like USAir and Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and dominated local and national award competitions.
In 1999, I was a 29-year-old entrepreneur and CEO with grand aspirations for Strategic Communications Group (Strategic). I picked up the phone and called Earle to see if he’d allow me to take him to lunch. He phoned me back within minutes.
He graciously shared his thoughts, wisdom and counsel during a series of meals we enjoyed together over a 24 month period. Why help me out?
Earle said he cared very deeply about his hometown, the world of advertising, and those who were willing to invest in its continued growth and success.
Earlier this month Earle Palmer Brown passed away at the age of 92. While he may no longer be with us, his contributions and commitment to the Washington, DC community live on.