100 Days of Leo Burnett, the Midwestern Master of Mascots DAY 20

Here’s today’s Leo:

Our real purpose in life is that of improving the sales effectiveness and reputation of our clients through ideas.” — Leo Burnett

In The Art of Writing Advertising | Conversations with Masters of the Craft, AdAge Interviewer Denis Higgins talks to Leo Burnett:

Q: You didn’t even have to fill out a form?…

A: No, no — and so I folded up some copy paper and stuck it in my pocket and went up to the city hall — I didn’t even know where that was, of course. Peoria was a pretty rough town in those days; it was a distillery town and a river town and pretty rough. So I first encountered a big cage of weekend drunks who were all trying to get my attention to send messages to somebody. I knew enough not to get trapped into that. But I went in and started nosing around, and got a story about a guy who had killed his wife with an ice-pick over the weekend — and I got the dope on that. I knew enough — I’d written a lot of newspaper stories — how to put a story together, how to get the facts.

Then I met the reporter for the rival paper, the Peoria Star. He was very nice to me and introduced me around to everybody I should meet. I got two or three other little items, and I got back to the office and wrote this stuff. And I thought I was all through around noon. Of course, it was an evening paper and they were “closed” around noon, you know. Then the city editor, who was sort of a tyrant, said: “Now, go out and cover the railroads.”

Marlboro -- Come to where the flavor is

Continue to Day 21