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HAL RINEY ON RINEY;THE MAN AND THE AGENCY (SIDEBAR)

Published on .

On whether he's stepping back, stepping down or stepping aside:

"I've been here. I'm not going anyplace. I do delegate a lot more than I used to," and "I'm here less than I used to be" but still around for putting out fires, working on new business, recruiting and working on commercials for clients such as Black Star beer, Saturn and Acer.

On whether Saturn can be copied by other automotive marketers:

"When car dealers heard how we were going to sell cars, they just sneered at us" and said it wasn't going to work. Now, they won't be able to copy Saturn because "Saturn is a whole company and a whole attitude, and advertising doesn't change the nature of the company."

On his legendary ad style:

"I've been trying to shed that image because I think it's limiting. The same solution won't work for all clients."

On his advice to young copywriters who might try to imitate his style:

"You do what you do. Don't try to do something that I can do better."

On being a father at age 63, and summer travels with his two grade-school-age kids to Canada, Honduras, Montana and New York, and attending soccer games:

"I'm probably not the oldest [parent of a child in his children's private elementary schools] but I'm getting close. I regret not having children earlier . . . [but] I'm delighted to have children now and to be able to give them some time," which would have been impossible in the agency's early days.

On his vision for his agency:

"I don't think in those terms. We do the best work for ourselves and our clients. If it's successful, that's our goal."

On negative political advertising:

"Can you imagine running all your advertising for Saturn on how awful a Honda is?"

On political consultants who write advertising:

"I just think these people are total amateurs."

On the Dole campaign, which Mr. Riney believes has been reluctant to enlist his talents because of his participation in Ross Perot's 1992 campaign:

"Dole needs to let people know what he's going to do for them and make them feel good rather than feel bad about Clinton."

On the next generation of management:

"I'm not going to be in this business forever, obviously. I've developed the place so others can manage the place without me. We're finally at a point where clients are perfectly happy if they never see me at all. It would be perfect. I could go fishing."

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