"Good advertising builds sales. Great advertising builds factories." - Bill Bernbach

Why is it that advertising seems to get such a bad wrap? More times than I care to count, I have been in conversations where people have described advertising executives as something between a used car salesman and a drug dealer (which always makes for an interesting moment when someone then asks me what I do for a living).

Knowing that I will be lumped in with those persuasive, manipulative and greedy individuals just described, I clear my throat and announce that I own an ad agency. Gasp! The only thing worse than working in an ad agency is owning one. Having enough of these conversations or watching enough movies (the ad exec is always the greedy man or woman that has to learn to love), and you might even start to buy in to the hype.

But contrary to those misperceptions, advertising plays a really important role in our economy. It has been said that “good advertising builds sales, but great advertising builds factories.” The goal of great advertising is to reach beyond sales. It is to reach in to every facet of a company and position it for success. It is to create a brand that not only meets needs but helps people feel connected. In other words, its role is to build factories.


Throughout my 20 years in advertising, I have had the pleasure of working with everything from some of the biggest brands in the world to start-up companies. And the one thing I have found to be consistent in these vary diverse companies is how rewarding it is when I know that my team has contributed to jobs and creating real change in our economy. In other words, we are building factories. And, that is what drives me every day to push beyond good and to create great advertising.


The next time someone asks me what I do for a living, I may just tell them that I build factories.