Former Chairman and Founder, Chiat/Day

Jay Chiat proved that advertising agencies don’t need a Madison Avenue address to be able to spot what’s new, fresh and exciting - and to create exceptional work based on that understanding.

In 1968 in Los Angeles, Chiat and Guy Day founded an agency that grew to $1 billion in billings in less than 20 years. Over the years, Chiat/Day has received countless awards and honors, including being named, Advertising Age’s "Agency of the Decade" in 1989. The agency’s famous clients and campaigns include: Launching Apple Computer’s Macintosh with "1984," Nike’s "I Love LA," Nissan’s "Fantasy," the Altima launch, the Pathfinder "Road to Rio" and "Pathfinder on Safari", Infiniti’s commercials with Jonathan Pryce, Energizer’s Bunny, Reebok’s U.B.U. campaign, and the Nynex Yellow Pages.

At the same time Chiat was championing the creative side of the business, he also introduced account planning to the United States. This research-based discipline, now standard at many agencies, establishes a dialogue with consumers to ensure that creative is relevant to the target audience.

Chiat had high expectations for himself and for his agency, and he believed that the working environment had a substantial impact not only on the creative process but also on overall agency management. His belief in "architectural management" led him to create the first "virtual office."

Along with his dedication to the industry, Chiat also demonstrated a firm commitment to community welfare, the environment and the arts. He was one of the founders of the Advertising Industry Emergency Fund and donated more than $300,000 to fund training and internship programs such as the Los Angeles-based Minority Advertising Training Program to encourage minority opportunities in advertising. Chiat also supported the agency’s pro bono work for clients such as Art Against AIDS, the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Heal the Bay, the Homeless Coalition and the Blind Children’s Center.