April 13, 2010

Walter & Stanley Lasso Madison Avenue!


This photo is of Walter and Stanley walking off with the Pearl Brewing Company account from its San Antonio, Texas headquarters, after having just won it in a new business shoot-out with other, much larger agencies.

By Walter Staab

For 27 years Stan was one of my two partners at SFM Media Corp. Early on he formed and ran the SFM Entertainment Division which pioneered many successes. When we sold the overall corporation in 1997, SFM Entertainment was cut out of the package, but carried on by Stan as the strong independent entity it is today.

From the beginning, Stan would check in to the office about 11:30, assess the mountain of waiting calls, and go to lunch. When he got back, he was back to stay the day and night. He'd be juggling visitors and working the phones until late evening, most evenings. Then he'd go home and screen some movie or television series in his home theater. He maintained he was working on West Coast time, and I guess he was. I'd tell people the best time to phone him would be after 9:00 p.m., and that still holds today.


Like a lot of people, I held Stanley in some awe. He knew the names of just about every station sales manager throughout the country, and they'd all take his calls. With Moger, every call would start with a joke. His jokes would circulate from coast to coast, finally reaching me via publishing contacts about a month after they started the circuit. Today, of course, Stan moves a lot of his material by email. Unfortunately, the jokes just don't seem as funny without Stan's delivery, which made even the poorest material absolutely hilarious.

Many station managers thought SFM stood for Stanley F. Moger, and Stan did little to dissuade them of this misconception. I guess that since the folks who bought SFM Media Corp. decided in their infinite wisdom to change its name, Stan is entitled to believe the initials of his company stand for what ever he wants them to stand for. Regardless, I'm pleased he has kept the name alive in such an honorable way. Thanks, Stan.

Stan's a piece of work. An original. A force of nature. We don't agree on politics very often, but he's a genuinely nice guy.


(This photo is of Stanley hearing no evil, Bob Frank seeing no evil and Walter Staab speaking no evil!)

Later this week, we'll be publishing Bob Frank's account of working with Stanley, which begins when he and Stan attended grammar school and college together.

Recognized nationally as a top media specialist and industry spokesman, Mr. Staab has spent over 40 years in the media planning and buying business. In 1969, he formed SFM Media Corporation with partners Bob Frank and Stan Moger. Under his leadership, SFM became the largest media independent, billing in excess of $1 billion and serving such industry leaders as: Nike, MCI, Isuzu and Intel. SFM was sold in 1999 to Havas advertising of France.

Prior to starting SFM, Mr. Staab was Vice President, Media Director at Ted Bates Advertising. He also served in senior media research capacities at Kenyon & Eckhardt and McCann-Erickson. Over the years, his frequent contributions to the trade press have been widely read and discussed. He was, for eight years, a frequent columnist for Advertising Age on matters of media strategy and tactics. Staab is an active participant in industry workshops and conferences and a periodic guest lecturer at a number of institutions of higher learning including NYU Graduate School of Business and Cornell Business School. He is past president of the Rutgers Club of New York City.

In 2004, Mr. Staab formed Staab Media Management, a New York based consultancy providing media services to advertisers with a view towards better definitions of value and increased return on investment.

The Editors

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