James Siegel is the Emmy-nominated vice chairman, senior executive creative director and member of the Board of Directors of BBDO New York and is one of the advertising agency's top creative talents. He is also the author of four novels, including Derailed, which was adapted to film starring Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston. Siegel holds a B.A. from the City University of New York. He lives on Long Island in New York.
This biography was last updated on 12/27/2010.
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An Interview with James Siegel
As the vice chairman and senior executive creative director of BBDO,
one of this country's leading advertising agencies, your accounts range from
Visa to Frito-Lay (Tostitos) and you had two commercials that aired during this
year's Super Bowl broadcast. How did you get your start in advertising?
Purely by accident. I was out of my house and in my own apartment by age 17. I drove a cab all through college (beautiful York College, under the old El tracks in Jamaica, Queens) to pay the rent. After college, I continued driving for a year. One day I was boasting about my writing skills to a passenger who just happened to be an ad exec. He happened to give me a chance, mostly because someone happened to give him a chance when he'd been my age. I didn't know the first thing about advertising and I proved it in my formal interview. I was told to bring my 'book' (translation: portfolio, something, of course, I didn't have) and I brought my book, my unfinished "great American novel," which I promptly plopped down on the interviewer's desk. The interviewer happened to own the agency, which only ...
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