WHAT RIGHT HAVE WE GOT RUNNING AN EMPLOYMENT AGENCY? (NONE, OBVIOUSLY.)
In 1968, when the economy was rosy, Lois Holland Callaway (my advertising agency) branched out and started an employment agency. Our research showed that the market was wide open for a new kind of job agency. In we plunged! We lined up the two classiest romantic heroes in New York (then and maybe now): Mickey Mantle and Joe Namath. We rented space and hired staff. Our new business was ready to go, and the time had come to choose an ad agency. We came to a unanimous decision: be our own ad agency. (The news stunned Madison Avenue.)
Mickey and Joe starred in our ad campaign. They also made personal appearances to drum up business. Soon we were handling mobs of job applicants out of five offices. We were placing high-paid executives and more than 500 secretaries a week. Business was booming. We opened a Wall Street location and expanded to the suburbs. Our new venture had become the second largest employment agency in the world! We were the first in the field to use TV spots, and our people-pulling campaign was sending shivers through the personnel industry. Nothing could hold back Mantle Men & Namath Girls. Our brainchild would soon be bigger than our ad agency. We had created the runaway new business of the go-go sixties.
In 1969 the first big recession since the Korean War threw a lot of people out of work. So what? We were in the unemployment business. More people hunting jobs meant more work for MantleI/Namath. Or so they said in the personnel industry. Only trouble was, there were fewer jobs to fill and our dream concept fell on rough days. Eventually we sold the business to another personnel agency and went home to the ad game. There's no place like home.