Excerpt from Page 29

Published July 30, 2018

TV Takedown

Despite considerable progress in establishing the foundation as a force
for building the use of fragrance in the American market, by the end of
the decade, the Fragrance Foundation fell on hard times. Whatever the
reasons, the final blow was struck at another press conference I attended in
the mid-fifties. It previewed the launch of one of the first TV commercials
to be produced in or out of the fragrance industry. With much fanfare, the
French-led group unveiled what turned out to be a rather ill-conceived
commercial. The theme was “Tick-tock, wear fragrance ’round the clock,”
and the visual, as I recall, was dominated by an oversize, unattractive wall
clock ticking away. I didn’t know much about TV or commercials in those
days, but in my heart of hearts, I felt that this one was not going to be
successful. Unfortunately, I was right. So much money had been spent on
the failed commercial, it spawned a quarrel over whose fault it had been.
In the blink of an eye, the founders resigned and left the foundation afloat
in a leaderless sea of red ink. Finding themselves with no money, the selfappointed committee of saviors were faced with a do-or-die conundrum.