Steve Simpson, CCO at Ogilvy who hired me in 2014 said:
I worked with George Tannenbaum at Ogilvy for nearly five years.
I hired him to be Executive Creative Director and to serve as “Copy Chief” for agency on the IBM business and for the New York office.
The latter appointment worth noting. Because it demonstrates his dedication to craft. He knows that every word counts—especially if somebody’s paying for it. In spite of this, George is also a very fast writer: fast and clear and always on point. Fast and good are not incompatible, after all.
Like all good people in the business, George can do more. He is a true writer. You can read some of his writing outside the office here adaged.blogspot.com See? It’s hard to imagine how or when he does it, because he one of the first to the office every morning
George is also an intellectual. Don’t hold it against him. While you could call him an “idea” guy, you should probably know that his ideas come with unusual connections, deep context and a whole a world of associated ideas. He therefore brings to his work a vast range of reference, and because of it, knows how important it is to do something new and provocative.
An intellectual isn’t a popular thing to be. But George wears his intelligence lightly and shares it generously. He works with and mentors more younger creatives than nearly anyone I know, and you can be sure they are better off for it.
I am happy to recommend George highly and without reservation for anything that requires thought, craft and insight that’s out of the ordinary.
Chief Creative Officer, Creative Lab
(Former CCO at Ogilvy)
Leslie Sims, CCO at Ogilvy starting 2019 said:
Every time someone comes to me and says they need someone on an assignment, they say “George would be perfect for this.”
Chief Creative Office, NA
Nick Law, CCO of R/GA, said this about me:
George was the ECD, creative life force, CEO whisperer, and team mentor for a large and challenging client at R/GA. As a creative leader he had the breadth we value at R/GA; from powerful story telling to systematic savvy. He also has a rare depth; from the most sophisticated strategic sensibility to the most rigorously crafted creative. George is my favorite type of ECD. He doesn’t need to be managed. If you leave him alone, great work will happen. When you check in with him, you learn more than he does.
VP, Marcom Integration at Apple
(Former CCO at R/GA)
Steve Hayden, Vice Chairman at Ogilvy, said this about me:
I can recommend George in the most glowing terms. He is a writer’s writer, and easily the most literate fellow that ever passed through the hallowed halls of Ogilvy, probably including David Ogilvy himself. That said, he’s also a leader. Here he had to work with a tremendous diversity of talent, from people who were hired more for their technical skill than creative ability to general agency creatives who’d never even seen a computer. George brought these wildly different people together, focused them on the task at hand, and kept the calm through many a storm. He’s also a superb strategist. His highest focus is on solving clients’ problems. I will warn you that rather than slavishly following a brief, George will try to get a grasp of what the core issues are come up with truly media neutral solutions. In fact, he was one of the first proponents around here of take-it-to-the-streets marketing. Of course, you know about his extensive background in direct marketing. He’s very focused on changing behavior, but he also has a talent for changing beliefs. In short, I think he would be an excellent choice for your company. If you’d like more in person, or have other specific questions, I’ll be happy to talk.
Vice Chairman (retired)
Eva Auguston, Group Planning Director, Ogilvy:
Give George the most complex tangle of product facts and communications objectives and by 8.30am – as the rest of the agency yawns awake – George will have transformed the “brief” into copy that not only inspires and delights the audience, but fills both client and agency colleagues with sheer pride to work on the account.
Beyond his magical copywriting talents, George is also part-time Planning lead: more strategic challenges are solved at his desk than by the entire Planning department. George is a true creative leader. He articulates sophisticated creative strategy in the simplest of words, rallying teams around him. But also makes the time to patiently hear the views of others, nurturing talent and ideas. It is my very great privilege to work with George.
Group Planning Director
Brian Collins, Chief Creative Officer, COLLINS:
George Tannenbaum shatters mediocrity between the thumb and forefinger of his left hand while bringing worlds to life in his right. George Tannenbaum guides us down dark, complex, paths to make sure our clients – and all of us – arrive at new, creative Valhallahs. George Tannenbaum never fails at this journey. Ever. So my team and I follow him. Always. If you are not on the phone calling George to create ideas amplified with the radiance of a thousand suns that burst into the sky all at once – then somebody else is.
Chief Creative Officer
Sally Kissane, Managing Director, Ogilvy Australia:
I have had the opportunity to work with George for a number of years now
We have partnered on PCD and Servers primarily. I say “partnered” because that is what it is like with George. He fully embraces the clients and their business in a way that I have never seen before from a creative partner.
He doesn’t make a distinction between creative & account- but has more of a holistic view of the business and is always seeking new ways to solve client issues.
George is a really smart guy…
He is the kind of guy that really thinks about what he is doing, and what the smartest solution is for the clients business-not creative for creative sake
Whenever he presents to clients, he always leaves them with a feeling of “this guy really gets my business” and they have a great deal of trust and respect for him
On a personal level- I could not ask for a better creative partner- he is a terrific manager to his team and treats my team (at whatever level) with respect and patience. I never worry about throwing difficult or seemingly insignificant tasks George’s way-because I know whatever the challenge he will take it seriously.
I feel that the integration challenge is sometimes an impossible one, but no matter how frustrating it can be-you can always rely on George to find a way to make it work with the extended 360 partners. You don’t get that kind of dedication to a common cause from many other areas.
So I hope that I leave you with the impression that George has provided an absolutely invaluable contribution to what has made the PCD and Server partnerships work…because we could never have achieved what we have without him!