The Oransky Journal

Interesting stuff that doesn't fit on Embargo Watch or Retraction Watch

Mad Men: An Oransky in the advertising business

with 2 comments

nyt“Keith is now paying for the service at the rate of 10 cents a day by shining Mr. Oransky’s shoes.”

That’s the kicker of an item in the April 1, 1960 advertising column in The New York Times.

As far as I can tell, Richard E. Oransky, of Portland, Maine, was not a relative of mine. But now that I’ve come across the story, I wish I’d met him.

It seems that Oransky — then of Payson Simonds, Inc. — had his shoes shined by Keith L. Bennett every day on his way to the office. The two got to talking, and Bennett seemed curious about what an advertising agency might do for his shoe-shining business.

There was a preliminary discussion and finally a $2 contract was drawn. For this sum Payson Simonds agreed to provide a four-color flyer prepared by the agency’s art department. The flyer extolled the virtues of the “Bennett Quality Shoe Shine.”

The item — take note of the date — was in the style of a “new account landed” story. I can only guess that Oransky and the Times’s advertising columnist shared a sense of humor.

Oransky, who later played a role in key Maine political elections, and served as a Heisman Trophy voter, died in 2012 at the age of 83. Scroll down this page to see a 1958 picture of him re-enacting the Pilgrims’ landing at Plymouth Rock.

Written by Ivan Oransky

May 23, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. Sounds like he was a Mainer, not an Oregonian.

    • Indeed, fixed. Thanks!


      May 23, 2014 at 4:52 pm

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