Muse Cordero Chen Inc.
Jay Chiat, David Ogilvy, William Bernbach and Howard Zieff may be the titans of advertising, but for Jo Muse chairman of Muse Cordero Chen Inc. there was another man who most motivated him into the business: Darren Stevens.
” ‘Bewitched’ ” did it for me,” said Muse about the 1960s television program in which an advertising man was married to a friendly witch. “I was a TV kid and Darren’s job just seemed so great to me.”
Muse was also intrigued by the commercials that popped up during the program breaks.
“You grow up not only watching all the sitcoms, but also by watching the commercials,” he said.
Since its founding in 1987, Muse Cordero has become one of the industry’s leading minority advertising agencies.
Muse has led the Los Angeles-based company on clients including American Honda, AT & T; Wireless and Nike Inc.
If awards are any indication of success, than Muse has been doing well. Besides national and local industry recognition, he also was named best creative director in the west by Adweek Magazine in 1993.
Most recently, his work for Nike in Spanish markets earned the firm a Belding award in the foreign language category.
He began in public relations then shifted to advertising soon after graduating from Michigan State University in 1972. He worked for Roggers & French in Costa Mesa and Reid Advertising in Los Angeles before helping start his own firm.
Muse’s biggest achievement, he says, has been helping minorities succeed in what is typically a tough industry to crack.
“The business isn’t any more attractive or friendly to people of color, particularly in L.A.,” he said. “I am most proud of the work of the people we’ve hired the folks who have come out of here and have gone on to do great things.”
Joe Bel Bruno