When Aaron met Rich and Jeff

Aaron Starkman launched his podcast “It’s Only Fucking Advertising” (IOFA) last year as a side-project born out of his love of advertising.

“I wanted to talk with creatives I admire and learn how they ended up where they are, and hear all the funny, profound and life-altering things that happened along the way,” says Starkman, managing partner and creative director at Rethink.

He got a whole lot of that in the newly released episode six of IOFA with Rich Silverstein and Jeff Goodby, such as this gem about being considered for the Apple business:

“Steve Jobs was interviewing agencies because he was coming back to Apple, and he said ‘Why should I pick you?’ And I think we said, ‘No you should go back to Lee [Clow and Chiat\Day],’ and he did,” says Silverstein before Goodby confesses that their motives weren’t entirely altruistic. “To tell you the truth, it was because he was going to have a pitch: us against Chiat\Day. And we knew we weren’t going to win. He was just going to pick Chiat\Day again so we cut the whole thing short.”

Since launching the podcast, Starkman has talked with advertising greats like Rob Reilly, Alex Bogusky, Gerry Graf, Susan Credle and Ari Merkin. He traveled to San Francisco to speak with Goodby and Silverstein in person.

“These guys just love each other,” he says. “You can’t fake that kind of chemistry, and after a few minutes I just put away my notes and listened to them with a giant grin on my face the whole time.”

In a wide-ranging, very candid conversation, the two industry icons, responsible for some of the most famous and memorable advertising of the last 35 years, shared stories about getting into the industry (notorious gangster Whitey Bulger comes up), meeting at Hal Riney and why their agency isn’t called Silverstein Goodby + Partners. “I’ve said for 35 years I’ve been ignored. It’s just Goodby,” says Silverstein of the industry’s tendency to shorten the agency name.

“Aside from this just being fun and interesting for me personally, I wanted to share these episodes with people in the business, especially those just breaking into the industry” says Starkman.

Goodby and Silverstein talk about successes and failures, painting a picture of who they are as people and what they are as an agency.

They offer lots of useful advice to anyone in the industry, like why you should be careful about what you say in an elevator, why it pays to be nice to hotel staff, and the danger of doing contra deals that involve all-staff, all expenses paid cruises. “We now have an HR department,” says Silverstein.

The new podcast can be downloaded from iTunes now.

David Brown