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As someone who has spent a great deal of time helping to develop commercial communications in many countries, I don't believe I can be charged with chauvinism when I claim New York City is where advertising became the industry that it is today. And although great creative work is being done in cities all over the world, I am certain New York will continue to be the world capital of advertising and other forms of commercial communication for years to come.

The city's challenge and excitement attract people of talent and drive from all over America-and from all over the globe. When so many talented people come together, creative sparks fly. It's not just that "If you can make it here, you'll make it anywhere." It's that this is they city where, in order to make it, you have to go about it in an original way. Otherwise, don't bother to come.

Creative endeavors of all kinds thrive in this environment-including ours. An example: One of the first advertising copywriters to have the courage to start an agency was Ray Rubicam. He started in Philadelphia, but when he was offered the chance to move his agency, he grabbed it.

Fast-forward to the early 1970s. At Y&R we realized that while our clients were getting their advertising from us, they were getting direct marketing and sales promotion and public relations elsewhere. So we decided to seek the best companies we could find in these fields.

This led us to Lester Wunderman, who probably has done more than anyone to create modern direct marketing. And to Harold Burson, a seminal figure in the development of public relations. We didn't even have to leave Manhattan.

The concept has spread all over the country and throughout the world, but it started here, in this city.

And it probably was inevitable that it would.

Edward N. Ney was with Young & Rubicam from 1951 to 1986 and served as president, chairman and CEO for his last 16 years at the agency. A member of the Advertising Hall of Fame, he also has been active in civic and government fields, and he was the U.S. ambassador to Canada from 1989 to 1992. He currently is chairman of the board of advisers of Burson-Marsteller, a Young & Rubicam unit, and chairman of Marsteller Advertising.

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