Schulberg made mark by taking work personally

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In an industry where braggadocio and quirkiness rule, Jay Schulberg, the former Ogilvy & Mather and Bozell Worldwide executive who died Jan. 12, cut a unique profile.

Mr. Schulberg will be remembered for putting milk mustaches on celebrities on behalf on the nation's milk processors and dressing Karl Malden in a trenchcoat and fedora for American Express. But those who worked with him say that creative brilliance was accompanied by a quiet air. "He was shy and thoughtful and retiring," said David Apicella, senior partner and co-creative head at Ogilvy & Mather, New York, a unit of the WPP Group.

Mr. Schulberg worked on a number of famous campaigns while at Ogilvy, New York, where he became creative chief in 1985. In addition to creating campaigns for Huggies, TWA and others, he took advantage of Mr. Malden's fame as a TV detective to push American Express traveler's checks, and the tagline "Don't Leave Home Without It" became ubiquitous.

In 1987, the New York native moved on to Bozell, where he was chief creative officer. The milk mustache work he created there became a part of pop culture and is still running a decade later.

self-reflection

Sal Taibi, one of the team that created the effort, credits its success to Mr. Schulberg's closeness to his work. "He took it all very personally," said Mr. Taibi, now exec VP-director of client services at Lowe & Partners, which was merged with Bozell by Interpublic Group of Cos. in 2003. "He believed that the work reflected on him. Jay saw long-term potential in the campaign and was very protective of it."

As a boss, Mr. Schulberg was known for being generous with praise. Mr. Apicella said he still has a file filled with encouraging memos that displayed the sense of humor present in his work. He recalled one of management tenets espoused by Mr. Schulberg in the early 1980s, when he was managing a bunch of young copywriters that included Mr. Apicella. He said, " `I'll treat you all fairly but not equally.' "

Mr. Schulberg, 65, who retired in 1999, died of pancreatic cancer in Doylestown, Pa.

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