Thursday, September 27, 2012

Five Business Tips from David Ogilvy of O&M

“While reading ‘Ogilvy on Advertising’ written by the man himself, I came across these five nuggets on running an advertising agency. These five excellent business tips are valid not only for running advertising agencies but for managing any business under the blue sky,” shares John from

Here they are:

1. Never allow two people to do a job which one could do. As George Washington once said, “Whenever one person is found adequate to the discharge of duty by close application thereto, it is worse executed by two people, and scarcely done at all if three or more are employed therein”.

2. Never summon people to your office; it frightens them. Instead do to see them in their offices, unannounced. A boss who never wanders about his agency becomes an invisible hermit.

3. If you want to get action, communicate verbally. If you want the voting to go your way at meetings, go to the meeting. Remember the French saying: “He who is absent is always wrong”.

4. It is bad manners to use products which compete with your clients’ products. When I got the Sears Roebuck account, I started buying all my clothes at Sears. This bugged by wife, but the following year a convention of clothing manufacturers voted me the best-dressed man in America. As the number of brands advertised by Ogilvy & Mather now exceeds two thousand, my personal inventory is getting complicated.

5. Never allow yourself the luxury of writing letters of complaint. After my first transatlantic voyage I wrote to my travel agency complaining that the service on the Queen Mary was slovenly and the decoration vulgar. Three months later we were on the point if getting the Cunard account when they happen to see my letter. It took them twenty years to forgive me and give us their account.