He is the very model of the modern advertising man

For those ad agency creative people who grew up in the seventies or early eighties, nobody better exemplified the way we thought of ourselves early in our careers than Hawkeye Pierce of the TV show, "M*A*S*H."

As played by Alan Alda, Hawkeye had all the traits to which we aspired. He was witty, irreverent, iconoclastic, hedonistic, slovenly and eccentric, but also capable and confident, dedicated and dependable, principled, tenacious and when the chips were down, absolutely brilliant. Able to drink himself into a stupor the night before, and still muster self-righteous indignation to those who ignorantly stood in the way of our doing our best work.

Yep, too often, that's how we saw ourselves. Like M*A*S*H's "meatball surgery," it was "meatball advertising" we were doing, working desperately to patch together award-winning ads while toiling under insane deadlines and stifling superiors.

You can imagine how difficult we made life for all the Henry Blakes and Frank Burnses we worked with.


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