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Old 08-01-2018, 11:58 AM
david4121 david4121 is offline
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Default The wizard of EJL

The wizard of EJL
Art Guerrero had almost completed his studies at the Manhattan School of Music at Columbia University in New York City when he realized that there was very little chance of making a living in serious music. "So when I graduated in 69, I started looking for a job in some kind of creative field. I was thinking about the possibilities of advertising, because I was a good writer and I enjoyed writing."
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He was hired by Ziff-Davis, publisher of numerous magazines like Stereo Review, Car & Driver, Cycle and several scientific periodicals. He came aboard as a copywriter to write house ads for its various publications. "I was there about a year when I was recruited by Ayer Jorgensen Macdonald in Los Angeles. At the time, AJM handled Yamaha motorcycles, musical instruments and audio products, and they needed a writer familiar with all aspects of the account. A Ziff-Davis executive told the agency that I would be a perfect match. So in '71 I moved to AJM."

Art loved the Southern California lifestyle and enjoyed the people he worked with. "I did the U.S. intro of Yamaha audio products and its professional audio equipment. I worked on all the musical instruments and, of course, on the motorcycle account. In addition, I wrote for Western Bank Corp. [now First Interstate], JPL Laboratories and the Automobile Club of Southern California. I was a senior copywriter when I left after five years."
He moved over to McCann-Erickson as senior copywriter on Lockheed and several smaller accounts. "It was on an engineer's desk at Lockheed that I was introduced to what turned out to be the very first personal computer. It was called the Altair. It was a kit computer, a desktop computer, ordered out of a magazine and assembled by the engineer. He said in the future we wouldn't have these big main frames. Everybody would have a little computer on their desks. It really intrigued me, and as soon as the first PCs came out, I ordered one and started experimenting with it."
After a year at McCann, Art spent three years at BBDO and then moved to Grey Advertising as senior copywriter on Honda motorcyles, plus Alpine best car speakers brands on the market*and JPL loudspeakers. "During my 3 1/2 years at Grey I suggested to Bob Humphreys and Miles Turpin that Grey become the volunteer agency for the Save the Hollywood Sign Committee, just being launched. They agreed and I wrote the TV campaign that featured Buddy Ebsen, Lucille Ball, Ephraim Zimbalist and other celebrities. sign was saved and the campaign won a lot of awards."
Art left Grey to open his own agency called Arthur-James Advertising. James was Jim Price, who had supervised the U.S. Borax account at McCann when Art also worked there. "We had an opportunity to start an agency with the $1.5-million Tiger Air account. Then we picked up the creative portion of International House of Pancakes, the Lightning Bolt Surfwear and Sportswear account and assignments from Redken hair products. We peaked in 85 at about $5 million, but then we started going downhill and by 87 we called it quits."
Meanwhile, Art had been working at home on three PCs-an Apple II, an early IBM and a Commodore. "Agencies at the time were unaware of what computers could do for them. It wasn't even a topic of discussion. I was just experimenting with them, using them for word processing and data bases, trying to see what use they could be in advertising."
When he moved to Eisaman, Johns & Laws in 87 as a senior writer in senior vp/ed Andrea Giambrone's group, EJL was using computers in a minimal way. "I was using a Macintosh and felt it offered the most opportunities for advertising agencies. After a short while at EJL I proposed to management-Dennis Coe and Dean Laws-that we install the agency's first network as a pilot project in the creative department. We then became one of the first

agencies in the nation to computerize its art department. It was so successful that we quickly became one of the first in the West to be fully networked."
After a year of being fully networked, EJL realized that in its new technology it had a tiger by the tail and decided to create a new title and position for Art. "I am now the director of creative computing. Included in the programs I have incorporated into the agency's system are talent payments, time sheets, computer animation and a multimedia database of worldwide advertising resources. I am also responsible for developing EJL's computerized new-business presentation, which is an interactive program combining music, print, voiceovers and three-dimensional visuals. This enables prospective clients to view the agency's history, client success stories and agency profiles in an entertaining and informative way."
Has the new technology helped in the acquisition of new business? "The answer is yes. Enormously. What used to be done with slides, overheads and type-on cards is now done with the Macintosh. And it is all controlled by a remote-controlled 'mouse.' We've had a terrific new-business winning streak over the past year. We've acquired accounts like Southern California Gas Co., Vans, Hughes Aircraft, Metropolitan Water District, Kwikset Lock Co. and Den-Mat toothpaste."
Art also writes a monthly column in MacDigest, a publication for Macintosh users, and was recently elected executive vice president of the L.A. chapter of the Mac-user group, the third-largest computer group in the world. "I have so many speaking invitations that I have to turn most of them down. However, next month I will be a guest speaker at the Center for the Computer Graphics for Design meeting, attended by New York art and graphic design directors."
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Art sees his future at EJL, where he has been for the past 3 1/2 years. "I have a triple role here. I was hired as a senior writer and I still do that. Also, I'm in charge of computer planning and administration. My third role is as a multimedia designer. Everyday is a challenge," he says, "and since we are exploring new ways of doing things, it is continuously exciting."
Starting with the issue of June 4, Lee Kerry's West will appear monthly in the first issue of each month.


Last edited by david4121; 10-29-2018 at 01:43 PM.
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