Back in 1991 David Ogilvy wrote down his best business advice for a reporter. I love learning what brillant businessmen find important. So, here is David Ogilvy’s best business advice:
1. Remember that Abraham Lincoln spoke of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. He left out the pursuit of profit.
2. Remember the old Scottish motto: “Be happy while you’re living, for you are a long time dead.”
3. If you have to reduce your company’s payroll, don’t fire your people until you have cut your compensation and the compensation of your big-shots.
4. Define your corporate culture and your principles of management in writing. Don’t delegate this to a committee. Search all the parks in all your cities. You’ll find no statues of committees.
5. Stop cutting the quality of your products in search of bigger margins. The consumer always notices — and punishes you.
6. Never spend money on advertising which does not sell.
7. Bear in mind that the consumer is not a moron. She is your wife. Do not insult her intelligence.
CharlestonNovember 15, 1991