By Lee Yousri
In the 50s and 60s, the profession of advertising was a magnet for many bright young men – the MBAs clustering on Wall Street came later. And so we have Bill Manley joining the advertising force in 1959 and remaining there, from New York City to Memphis, TN, for the rest of his work life.
And what an interesting career it turned out to be – diverse and multi-layered. He was account executive for many products with different companies and in countless venues. Not all of his work took place behind a desk. Take Coppertone: in his twelve-year association with that product, he had to travel to different beaches for TV commercial shoots, such as the Hamptons near New York City, Hawaii, Catalina Island, St. Thomas, and quite a few more.
The range of products he worked on was huge. To name a sampling: from over-the-counter medicines to toiletries and cosmetics, from household to industrial products, from foot care treatments to liquor. To me, a couple of the most interesting products were Grand Marnier Liqueur and Absolut Vodka. One made in France and the other in Sweden – both delicious. Absolut held second place to Stolichnaya as the leading vodka import until the Russians boycotted our Olympics, then Absolut became the leader.
Getting away from the “fun” part, Bill had to prepare budgets and set communication strategy for the copy and art teams, then get the client’s approval of the finished product, whether it was print, radio, or television.
Bill is the middle son among three brothers: the older chose a career in Insurance, the younger one in Finance. All embracing business, although father and grandfather were both doctors. They all lived on the East Coast (New York and New Jersey) lunched together and saw each other frequently. The two brothers married. One had four children, the other two. Bill would often entertain them weekends in New York and thinks he saw more of them there than if he’d had children of his own.
Bill loves to travel. Being in Memphis – in the center of the U.S – he launched out on expeditions to all fifty states and has visited seven continents. Coupled with this is a love of theater, which he indulges with gusto.
When it came to retirement, Bill sought a cosmopolitan resort-college town, and the final contenders were Santa Barbara, CA, and Sarasota, FL. Fortunately, he selected Sarasota and has been here for twenty-four years. We are lucky that now he has chosen Plymouth Harbor as his home. Welcome, Bill!