Meet the press or not.

If a reporter calls you, remember never to say anything you don’t want to see in print or writ large online.  You can look like a fool and ruin your career with just a handful of words, spoken in a moment of hubris.  Ask the reporter if you’re speaking on the record, or off.  If you have advance warning of the subject of the story, write down a few notes about what you’re going to say.  You’ll be more quotable, and you’ll have a record of your exact words.  If the subject of the story involves a client’s advertising, always refer the reporter back to the client before you say a word.

Remember, nobody ever got ever got fired for declining to comment.


David Fowler created long-running advertising campaigns for Motel 6 ("We'll leave the light on for you"), BP ("Beyond Petroleum"), Fanta ("Wanta Fanta"), Claritin ("Claritin Clear") and many others. His forty-year creative career included twenty years at Ogilvy & Mather in New York, as well as stints at Goodby, Silverstein in San Francisco, Ammirati & Puris in New York and The Richards Group in Dallas.