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Politics 2008: The Media Conference for the Election of the President
Monday, October 13
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Session III
Political Advertising -
The Daily Game Changers: Language, Imagery and the Always-On War Room Campaign
Jimmy Siegel, Creative Director/Partner, a-political
Jeffrey Tuchman, Documania Films, Executive Producer of dvertising, Hilary Clinton Campaign 2008 & "Man From Hope" 1992 Film
Jon Fine, Columnist, BusinessWeek
Joe Erwin, former chairman, South Carolina Democratic Party and CEO, Erwin-Penland
Mark Walsh, CEO GeniusRocket; former CTO of DNC; head of Internet operations-John Kerry for President; founding CEO, Air America Radio
Kevin P. Ryan, CEO, AlleyCorp, co-founder and former CEO, DoubleClick, Moderator

Jeffrey Tuchman, Documania Films, Executive Producer of dvertising, Hilary Clinton Campaign 2008 & "Man From Hope" 1992 Film: Jeffrey is a Peabody, Emmy, and Pollie award-winning producer, director and writer who, over the past twenty years, has built a formidable body of work. Tuchman has over 30 films to his credit which have aired on A&E, PBS, The History Channel, NHK, ABC, Discovery/TLC, Court TV, CBS, MSNBC and HBO among others. Since 1988, Tuchman has brought his documentary skills to bear on ads and long-form media for three presidential campaigns, as well as a number of high-profile senate races. This includes a decades long relationship with Bill and Hillary Clinton which began in 1992, when he directed the now iconic MAN FROM HOPE for the 1992 Democratic Convention, which was widely hailed as an historic piece of political filmmaking (and won Tuchman a Pollie Award). In 2000, Tuchman directed the spots for Hillary Clinton’s Senate Campaign (general) for which his “Ed Koch” spot was called “the best political ad of the 2000 election season” by Campaigns and Elections Magazine. Finally, Tuchman served as executive producer of the advertising (under campaign media guru Mandy Grunwald) on Hillary Clinton’s presidential run. Tuchman taught filmmaking for seven years at the Columbia University

Jimmy Siegel is creative director and co-owner of a-political, an issue advocacy company. He previously was creative director of Eliot Spitzer’s campaign for governor, in charge of all television, radio and print. His ads for Spitzer were cited by the New York Times, Daily News, and various influential blogs including the Kos Blog for their freshness, emotional power and arresting imagery. Jimmy also did advertising for Andrew Cuomo’s campaign for Attorney General, Brooke Ellison’s campaign for State Senate, and Kirsten Gillibrand’s campaign for US Congress, where Jimmy recreated the famous anti-McCarthy Murrow broadcast using the same actor who portrayed Murrow in ‘Good Night and Good Luck’ In December of 2005, Jimmy left his position as vice chairman, senior executive creative director and member of the Board of Directors of BBDO New York, where he was counted among the agency’s top creative talents. He held over 20 years creative experience on many key BBDO accounts and in the last ten years there worked primarily on Visa, Charles Schwab, AOL, and Pepsi Twist, where his contributions played a significant role in enhancing the agency’s creative reputation. For example, on Visa alone, Jimmy counted almost 40 spots to his credit. Among them, the “Bob Dole” commercial, which was honored with a gold Lion at Cannes, two Clios, a New York Festival gold and a trophy from the London International Awards. Also among his award-winning Visa achievements were “Burro,” which garnered a gold Clio and a silver Lion at Cannes in 1993, and “Elephant,” which won a bronze Lion. On Schwab, Jimmy conceived the “Smarter Investors” campaign which won a Silver Lion at Cannes and which was voted by consumers to be one of America’s most popular campaigns, according to USA TODAY’s weekly “Ad Meter” surveys. Other honored spots include two from Federal Express: the poignant and heartwarming “Adoption,” which received a gold and silver at the New York Festivals in 1991, and “Secretary,” which was selected “most humorous” and “best 30-second commercial” of 1992 by the Hollywood Radio and Television Society as well as being named both an Adweek and an Ad Age “Best Spot.” Beyond this, Jimmy won numerous other awards from the London International Advertising Festival, National ADDY’s, Andy’s and other prestigious industry competitions. In addition, Jimmy was recognized by The Advertising Club for a poignant commercial he created for Visa following the September 11 attacks. As described by Adweek critic Barbara Lippert, “the spot did not respond to the sadness and powerlessness we felt, but rather, offered us an organic life force rising up before our eyes.” The commercial, a salute to New York City’s live theatre and the resolve of the people of New York, showed several black and white scenes capturing the romance and glamour of Broadway from both sides of the curtain, set against Judy Collins’ unexpectedly haunting version of “Give My Regards To Broadway.” “The curtain will never go down on New York City,” said a simple title card at the close; and in so doing, Jimmy created what Ms. Lippert called “the best return to normal message she could imagine.” The commercial was nominated for a 2002 Emmy. Quite simply, Jimmy loves to write. In fact, in his spare time, he’s penned four novels, the first of which, “Epitaph,” was published in June 2001 and was nominated for ‘Best First Novel’ by the Private Eye Writers of America. His next book, “Derailed,” was published in February 2003, made the NY Times bestseller list and was recently turned into a movie with Jennifer Aniston and Clive Owen. His next book Detour is currently under production at Paramount and his fourth novel, Deceit came out in August and has been optioned by Universal. He’s currently working for a presidential candidate for president.

Jon Fine, Columnist, BusinessWeek: Jon Fine is the media columnist for BusinessWeek and an on-air contributor to CNBC. Prior to his arrival at BusinessWeek, Fine covered print media for Advertising Age, where he arrived just in time to observe magazines' and newspapers' dizzying fall from their dot-com-fueled heights. His freelance work has appeared in GQ, Spin, ESPN The Magazine, and Newsday, where he wrote the "Pushing 30" column. In an ongoing alternate life as a musician, Fine’s played in bands that have released several LPs and CDs and have toured in ten countries. Fine was born in Texas and raised in the wilds of suburban New Jersey. He is a graduate of Oberlin College, and now lives in Brooklyn with his wife, founder Laurel Touby..


Joe Erwin, President, Erwin-Penland, Former Chairman, South Carolina Democratic Party: Entrepreneur Joe Erwin is the President and co-founder of Erwin-Penland Advertising, which represents national and regional clients including Verizon Wireless, Wachovia Bank, Michelin, and BI-LO. Founded in 1986 with one account and one employee, EP is now one of the largest marketing firms in the Southeast, with more than 210 employees and over $200 million in billings annually. A graduate of Clemson University – where he volunteered for future-Congressman Jim Clyburn’s campaign for Secretary of State – Joe began his career at Leslie Advertising in Greenville. He was soon recruited by DMB&B in New York, where he worked for several years before returning to Greenville with his wife Gretchen to open Erwin-Penland. Joe was elected Chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party in 2003, and completed his second two-year term in May 2007. During that time, he negotiated and produced two Democratic Presidential debates – one in Greenville and one in Orangeburg – that were broadcast live nationally on NBC. In 2008, Joe Erwin and members of Erwin-Penland’s leadership team created and hosted the first annual Food for Thought conference. Joe was also recently recruited to join the national board of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. Joe and Gretchen live in Greenville with their two children: Douglas, who at 19 is a junior Clemson, and Valerie, 17, who is a senior at Eastside High School.

Mark Walsh, CEO GeniusRocket; former CTO of DNC; head of Internet operations-John Kerry for President; founding CEO, Air America Radio : Mark Walsh is the head of a small venture capital firm focusing on interactive/internet technology and services, Ruxton Ventures, LLC, and ceo of GeniusRocket an internet advertising platform. He has been in the internet industry for over twenty years, heading up consumer internet efforts for GE, running AOL’s internet and business to business efforts, and as CEO of VerticalNet, a business to business internet company which he took public in early 1999. Since 2001 he has been active in politics, serving as the first Chief Technology Advisor for the Democratic National Committee, then internet head for the John Kerry for President Campaign, and then as founding CEO of Air America Radio. He currently co-hosts a weekly talk show called “Left Jab” on XM Satellite Radio. At his venture capital company, he has invested in a number of small to medium technology/startup companies and serves on a number of their boards. His current or recent board/advisory board roles include Blackboard (NASDAQ: BBBB), Day Corporation (SWX: DAY),,,, and He is also active in a number of non-profits, serving or having served on the boards of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony and In2Books, and as a senior fellow at The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland. He started his business career in television, as anchorman and News Director of a CBS-TV affiliate, and as New Business Development director for HBO in New York. He is a graduate of Union College (where he serves as a trustee) and Harvard Business School.

Kevin P. Ryan, CEO & Co-Founder, AlleyCorp: Kevin P. Ryan, one of Silicon Alley’s most well known Internet entrepreneurs, has started six New York-based businesses - Alley Insider, Gilt Groupe, Music Nation, Panther Express, ShopWiki and 10gen - in the past three years. He presently serves as chairman and CEO of AlleyCorp, which oversees each of the six companies. Prior to AlleyCorp, Kevin was first president then later became CEO of DoubleClick. There, he was instrumental in building the company from a 20-person startup to a global leader with over 1500 employees. Silicon Alley Reporter voted DoubleClick “New York Company of the Year” and Kevin was named one of the “50 Most Influential Business People” by Crain's New York Business. Aside from his professional responsibilities, Kevin serves on the boards of Human Rights Watch and the NYC Investment Fund and is a member of the Insead International Council, the Yale International Council and the Council on Foreign Relations. He was the first investor in and previously served on the boards of the Direct Marketing Association, The Ad Council and Hotjobs, and the advisory board of Doctors Without Borders.