Being There

From: Alex Bogusky

Sent: Thursday, Sept. 13, 2001

4:53 p.m.

To: All agency staff

Subject: Everything

Most of you know that Rupert and I were in New York during the World Trade Center attack. I’m sure all of us are feeling the same range of emotions. The helplessness you undoubtedly felt here was unfortunately no different than the helplessness that we felt being there. Nothing could be done to help any of those victims. There was just no way to reach them. Thousands of people volunteered to rush in and help, but there was nothing that could be done. So we just walked around feeling helpless and worthless. Soon everyone in America wished they were firefighters and paramedics so they could do something. But being there, I can tell you that even the firefighters could not go in. It was very frustrating.

To be in advertising feels very, very insignificant right now. To be a professional baseball player feels horribly insignificant today. To be Michael Jordan feels like being a man who has dedicated his life to a child’s game. The point is, nothing feels worthwhile except digging people out of the rubble and finding who is responsible for creating this tragedy.

On an individual basis, the things that almost all of us do are insignificant. But we are not just individuals. We are a group. We are a country. And all of us doing our insignificant jobs creates this very significant democracy. We are all a little part of the greatest nation this world has ever known. A rich and powerful nation. There is no such thing as a poor and powerful nation. In our very insignificant role as advertisers at CP+B, we are partially responsible for $1.5 billion in American commerce.

This e-mail is not to try to convince people to do their jobs. I know that we all will do that because eventually we don’t know what else to do. I just want people to take pride in their role and not forget to do a brilliant job—the kind of job that creates commerce for our clients and our economy. In the end, that is not insignificant.