History is written by the victors. And reported by the lazy.


I was more than a little surprised to read in last Thursday’s NYT ad column that Saatchi was Folgers Coffee “agency of over 50 years” and that “…Saatchi & Saatchi created the campaign, as well as the “Best part of waking up” jingle, which first aired in 1984.”

No, and no.

Cunningham & Walsh was Folgers agency, in a relationship that predated the brand’s acquisition by Procter & Gamble. C&W created the “Waking Up” campaign before being acquired by N.W. Ayer, which became a part of D’Arcy which in turn was broken up and the P&G piece (including Folgers) wound up at Saatchi.

But who cares about this tedious chronology (besides those of us who were there)? Saatchi’s still here, and those other agencies aren’t. The Romans renamed all the Greek gods and claimed them as their own. Soviet-era history books deleted all mention, including birth records, of party apparatchiks who had fallen into disfavor. And today you can have a 30-year track record as a champion of financial deregulation and call yourself the Scourge of Wall Street.

As long as no one remembers and no one checks, you can, as Don Rumsfeld used to say, make your own reality.

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