NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Mike Moore, a media-industry fixture for decades at D'Arcy, Masius Benton & Bowles and later at MediaVest and TeleVest, passed away Oct. 18, marked with just a small paid notice in the New York Times.
It seemed rather typical of Mr. Moore, who in a 1998 Ad Age profile was described as "never flashy, preferring to stay in the background, a behind-the-scenes team builder." But what a team he built. Among the media industry's bold-faced names that honed their craft under Mr. Moore, who was believed to be 72 at the time of his death, are: Rino Scanzoni; Rich Hamilton; Steve Farella; Sean Cunningham; Mike Lotito; Joe Lagani; Phil Guarascio; Marc Goldstein; and Lee Doyle.
For decades, clients from Burger King and Budweiser to Coca-Cola, P&G and AT&T sought his expertise when it came to their billions of dollars of media investment. Mr. Moore is credited with becoming the first media department executive to serve on the board of directors of a large agency, and is said to be the father of the agency-of-record media-buying concept. "Mike set the standard for ad agencies with world-class media departments long before the media planners and buyers became industry leaders through unbundling," said Mark McLaughlin, McLaughlin Strategy, Pelham Manor, N.Y.
Mr. McLaughlin was one of many who worked with Mr. Moore who shared remembrances with Ad Age. Services will be held Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 11:30 a.m. at The Riverside, 76th Street and Amsterdam Avenue in New York.
Lee Doyle, CEO, Mediaedge:cia North America:
When I landed in the Benton & Bowles media department in 1983, I didn't fully appreciate how lucky I was or how much Mike Moore would influence my career. It took at least a year or two before I met the man, but now I think I can safely say, I wouldn't be where I am today without him.
I didn't realize it, but Benton & Bowles was the Harvard of media departments back then. Because of people like Mike, media was never a back-office function at Benton & Bowles or DMB&B. Just the opposite, media was on the front lines, and media investment strategy was considered one of the most valuable services the agency provided to our clients. The media operation was always held in high regard internally, in the industry and, most importantly, by our clients. Mike had the vision to see where the industry was going and made sure the agency supported that vision by attracting and developing top media talent. It's amazing to me to look around and see how many of today's leaders in the industry cut their teeth under Mike.
By the time I joined the agency, Mike was already much more than just a 'media guy.' He was on the board of directors of Benton & Bowles, and was the client leader for several accounts, in addition to having a range of operational responsibilities. He served as tangible evidence that a career in media could be a path to the highest levels of an agency and paved the way for media people to be recognized as valuable business partners to our clients.
Mike taught us all to be thoroughly analytical and objective in our recommendations. He understood how media decisions could drive more effective marketing for clients and demanded that we think that way. Our job was bigger than just insuring we met our delivery objectives. Mike pioneered the media AOR concept. He knew the importance of price in the media equation and that no amount of flash could overcome a deal that wasn't cost effective. And the word I think of more than any other when I think of Mike is integrity. As professionals advising clients on their media investments, integrity and objectivity need to be carefully guarded.
Since then, as I've taken on new challenges and responsibilities, I've been consistently motivated to try to make Mike proud. And there are countless others who I'm sure feel the same way.
Marc Goldstein, CEO, North America, at WPP's Group M:
I was director of research for what was then Screen Gems Television here in New York, and at that time, my wife Linda worked at Benton & Bowles as a local broadcast buyer for Mike Moore. Screen Gems was relocating to Los Angeles, and Linda asked Mike if he would do us a favor and interview me because I wanted to get into the agency side of the business and stay in New York.
We met, hit it off, and Mike hired me. I had some of the skills necessary for the job, but he acknowledged there were others he'd need to teach me. It was Mike who gave me my start in this business, in the network-buying department of Benton & Bowles, and it was nine-and-a-half years of learning and fun along the way.
As I moved on to other jobs, we kept in touch, but not as much as I should have.
Mike was a real mensch. He was a gentleman, he was straightforward, honest and the kind of individual you just had enormous respect for.
I try to emulate many of his managerial ways today. Probably the biggest lesson I learned from Mike was the value of having a boss who is fair and direct. Mike always treated people as important individuals, regardless of what position in the organization they may have held.
Steven Farella, president-CEO, Targetcast:
Mike Moore was one of the greatest leaders I've ever worked for.
He was the guy behind the door that was a visionary in this business, and he did it without being loud and disruptive. He had a quiet way about him, yet was the kind of person who'd make [you] stop in your tracks and stand at attention when he walked down the halls at Benton & Bowles. If Mike came over to you, it wasn't just to say 'hi'; you knew he was going to say something important.
Working for Mike was working with the smartest guy in the media business, bar none. He was always on the leading edge with new tools and strategies for clients, from syndication to cable to new research techniques. When we worked together, it would be on the biggest, most advanced media assignments in the business. Mike was not only a good director for us, but he was a great counselor to his clients.
Importantly, he saw the value to clients in an unbundled media operation and he was there to launch one of the first in TeleVest. He knew where this business was going -- and was gracious enough to help us all get there.
We should have paid Mike to work for him. I'll never forget him.
Michael Lotito, CEO, Media IQ:
Mike Moore was an icon of the media world. When I started in the business, Mike Moore was one of my first bosses. In those days, most folks who started in media would leave to go to account work or media sales. I stayed as an agency media professional because of Mike Moore. He was smart, considered, respected and loved the media side of the business. And he was nice to everyone, senior or junior, client, employee or salesperson. Simply put, I wanted to be like him. He was the consummate media professional.
Mike was a natural leader -- quick to explain a complex concept (e.g. Little U.S. vs. As It Falls) and quick to offer an encouraging word to someone who was straining under the workload. His voice was booming and yet always rational, never yelling, simply stating the facts as he saw them.
I was a young member of the 4A's media committee for years when Mike was also a member. This group had 15 or so media directors from across the industry who didn't always agree on every issue. When Mike spoke, a hush came over the room, and everyone nodded their head as the sage boss of bosses summarized the issue and how the committee should respond.
When we lost Mike Moore, we lost a shining light in the media business. He cast a broad shadow; there are countless media directors, presidents and CEOs who can trace their success to Mike's tutelage. I am proud to have been just one of his many followers.
Mark McLaughlin, McLaughlin Strategy, Pelham Manor, N.Y.:
Mike Moore was the person who showed me how to lead by example. I joined Benton & Bowles at the entry level in the early 1980s, and the media department was full of talent and big personalities. People who were smart and also capable of dominating the room were everywhere. It was easy to forget that giants like Phil Guarascio and Irwin Gotlieb reported to Mike because Mike had the quiet confidence to delegate authority and to allow great talent to flourish. Mike never demanded attention, he just set such a high standard of professionalism, ethics and quality that we all knew who was in charge. Today, we have "leadership coaches," but I've never met one who could match what I learned from being in Mike Moore's media department.
Rino Scanzoni, chief investment officer, Group M:
Michael Moore was a media icon and a visionary. He laid the early groundwork for establishing media as a stand-alone business and was largely responsible for making Benton & Bowles and later DMB&B into the powerhouse media shop that it was. He will be missed but not forgotten.