My mother never wanted me to go into advertising. My father was in the business before me, rising to Chairman of the Board of a large agency called Kenyon & Eckhardt, which was some time in the early 80s subsumed into Bozell Jacobs which was some time in the early 90s subsumed into Lintas, which was some time in the early 00s subsumed into Lowe, which was some time in the late 00s subsumed into Deutsch.
My mother saw as only an outsider can, the harsh side of the business. The stress, the politics, the fickleness of friends and clients and worst of purported friends. My mother wanted me, above all else, to be a lawyer. She insisted I apply to law school and when I got in, she insisted I go.
Of course, I didn't go. I instead went and got a fairly useless Masters in English Lit and then got a job as a copywriter in Bloomingdale's advertising department.
Even after I started doing ok in the business, my mother never accepted that I didn't become a lawyer like my older brother. Today, mother's day it's been roughly ten years since we've even spoken.
There's something about advertising that my mother never grasped. On the one hand she saw vividly the seamy side of it. She lived through my father's heart attacks and his getting fired at 53 or so and never working in the business again. On the other hand, she never understood the appeal of the business. The enthusiasm, the laughter, the challenges and the fun.
Ya, there are days when I wish I'd done something else. It's a tough business. But I'm doing something I love.