As a teenager, I cut the advertisements out of Playboy magazine.

Sure, I enjoyed the pictures, but I cut the advertisements out of Playboy and other magazines and kept them in a manilla file folder — my personal idea file. Clearly, advertising is in my DNA.

During my high school years, I wrote sale flyers for The Male Shop, an up-market clothing store in Toronto, located in a decidedly down-market location. Later, it moved to Toronto’s Yorkville district (about as upscale as it gets) where it operated until the early 90’s. Its closure was a consequence of the sale of the building in which it was a tenant. A huge, luxury condominium project was built on the block, which included my former clothing store (and one of my first clients).

Following school, I joined Mercury Photo Service, a wholesale photofinishing business and, it wasn’t long before I was transferred to its parent company, Allied Photo, as Assistant Marketing Manager.

While there, I talked my way into the ICA’s “closed door” 3-year specialty program for advertising agency personnel, graduated second overall and moved into the world of advertising – working with both International and Canadian shops, primarily on packaged goods, although I handled a few direct response projects as well.

My “ah ha” moment came in the early 80’s, with the introduction of personal computers and the growing concept of “database marketing”, a.k.a., personalized, relevant direct mail communications. And, I’ve been passionately doing “direct” and “database” marketing ever since.

For several years, I presented director-level seminars on Direct Marketing and Database Marketing at the Schulich Executive Education Centre, Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto.

Not only that, I also recruited the late Arthur Middleton Hughes for the Database Marketing seminar and we developed – and co-presented – that program.

For the Direct Marketing seminar, I worked with my long-time ad world colleague, Bill Booth, or York University professor Alexandra Campbell, on the content and presentation — what terrific experiences they were!

And while working with my business mentor, the late Peter T. Zarry, I helped create new  seminars – and created promotions using direct response techniques – for these products.

These days, I work with advertising agencies and select private clients on direct and database marketing… everything from strategy to creative to post-campaign analysis.  I look forward to helping you solve your pressing direct response problems.