Here’s the skinny.

Well, OK. Here’s the skinny.
In the evenings I was teaching Adver­tising Design at the Academy of Art on Sutter Street. During the day I was Exec­u­tive Art Director at Young & Rubicam. A big time adver­tising agency now swal­lowed up into a bunch of letters.
Always looking out for young talent, I barely noticed Dave Sanchez and Mick Kita­gawa in my class. Raw, eager young kids with a modicum of talent. Slowly I molded them into poten­tial fodder for the adver­tising industry.
Our largest account at Y&R was Kaiser Indus­tries. And aside from “Mavrick” (our #1 hit star­ring James Garner), Kaiser had a long list of indus­trial prod­ucts. Each of these prod­ucts needed many trade ads and programs to help sell them. Perfect for raw,eager, young stupid kids. Bingo. What an oppor­tu­nity. What a chance to fill their little heads with the glory of working for a big time adver­tising agency. And right out of school too ! I decided to give them their BIG break. I based their salaries on how long they had been out of diapers times two and added carfare. Dangling the bait in front of their starry eyes, I signed them up before their mouths closed. I gave them accounts the day they walked in the door and worked their little pink asses day and night until I walked out the door to become a photog­ra­pher a few years later. Now, there are insin­u­a­tions that I paid them “two for the price of one”.
These are scur­rilous lies. I took them off the street and put them into an exciting world. I set their names in lights.

The ungrateful curs.

Dave would have wound up selling ladies shoes if I hadn’t saved him and Mick was doomed for “B” movies every time a new one was shot in town. If there are any medals to be given they should be on my chest for paying more than they deserved. Hah ! Two for one indeed.

Jack Allen

One thought on “Here’s the skinny.”

  1. Mik Kitagawa says:


    What describes a great adver­tising art director is his ability to come up with good selling ideas, designing and laying out award winning ads and have the know‐​how to work within a tight budget. Jack was all of the above.
    When it came to budgets, he was espe­cially creative.
    Jack discov­ered two poor strug­gling art students (Dave Sanchez & Mik Kita­gawa) from the Ad classes he taught at night.….and inter­viewed them for a posi­tion in his depart­ment at the pres­ti­gious Young & Rubicam adver­tising agency. Unbe­knownst to these young fledg­lings, Jack’s budget called for just ONE art director. Mr. Allen, at his creative best, took that one salary and split it!.…..Two for the price of one. Hence the term “two‐​fer” will always be asso­ci­ated with Dave and Mik ! Thanks to one Jack Allen.

Leave a Reply