Jerry Della Femina's reputation as a funnyman and a wiseguy have made it difficult for the ad industry to take him seriously. "I think about that all the time," Jerry admits to Rance Crain in a video interview prior to his induction into the Advertising Hall of Fame.
"I'm working on my speech and I'm working very hard not to say just three words -- 'It's about time,'" he says with a laugh. "Actually, most people thought I was in the Advertising Hall of Fame. ... Yes, I want to be known as somebody."
Jerry points to the fact that he's been connected to many marketing and client successes, such as Isuzu, Meow Mix, Air Wick, Beck's beer and Blue Nun wine as a reason for the assumption. "You don't get these accounts and you don't move these accounts where they went and where they are by being just a funny guy. There had to be some thinking behind it. And I had wonderful people. I had the best staff anyone has ever had."
And a relatively diverse staff. Jerry tells me he had more women vice presidents than any other agency. "And I'm talking about agencies that were 10 times our size.It wasn't about, 'Oh, gee, let's do it for diversity or anything else.' It was, 'Let's just do it because it's good for everyone.'"
Watch the full interview.