Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Jane Maas

Jane Maas began her career at Ogilvy & Mather as a copywriter in 1964 and rose to become a creative director and agency officer. Ultimately, she became president of a New York agency. A Matrix Award winner and an Advertising Woman of the Year, she is best known for her direction of the “I Love New York” campaign. She is the author of Adventures of an Advertising Woman and co-author of the classic How to Advertise, which has been translated into 17 languages.

Her new book is Mad Women: The Other Side of Life on Madison Avenue in the '60s and Beyond.

From Maas's Q & A with Rupal Parekh at Advertising Age:

Ad Age: What can we expect from "Mad Women"?

Ms. Maas: This book has two aspects. First, it's funny. Chapter Two is called "Sex in the Office," and Chapter Three is "Get the Money Before They Screw You." [The late] Shirley Polykoff [former Foote Cone Belding exec and creator of the Clairol tagline Does She ... Or Doesn't She?] gave me some advice one day and she said 'Get the money before they screw you like they screwed me,' she said [referring to] the men who run the agencies. Other chapters are about drinking, smoking and drugs. Second, in the midst of all the fun and games, there's a very serious message about women's roles in advertising and in women's business in general.

Ad Age: What are some of the ways in which working in the ad business 50 years ago is different than it is today?

Ms. Maas: I'll tell you first what is most similar. When I talk to women who were working mothers in the '60s and when I talk to the working mothers today in 2011, they sound the same. They use exactly the same words. They say, 'I'm torn, I'm not being a really good mother, I'm not being a really good wife, and I'm not being a really good professional.' Women who have kids are just as torn as we were back then. The biggest thing that's changed is that women are not accepting of being second-class citizens anymore. When I was a junior copywriter at Ogilvy, a man who sat next to me went into the boss and announced he was getting married; it was a great thing and he got a raise. When women announced they were getting married they were warned they had to leave if they got pregnant. Well not if, it was when -- back then everybody expected they were going to get pregnant. And, there was no maternity leave. No one was expected to come back after having a baby because women who had children under the age of 16 did not work in those days; it was socially unacceptable to have young children and work. And if you did, everybody...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue