President/Chief Executive Officer
Rubin Postaer and Associates
Finding a creative rush can be the bane of any advertising executive’s existence. But Gerry Rubin need only turn to his apartment above the Broadway Deli in Santa Monica to be inspired.
“It’s the aroma that gets me going, especially the corned beef and matzo ball soup,” he said.
Rubin had prepared for a career in acting or sports announcing, but decided to take a stab at advertising with Chicago’s Leo Burnett Co. Inc. His outgoing personality and creative flair were a natural fit in creating advertising campaigns, so he decided to stick with advertising, eventually changing over to Needham Harper & Steers, where he would work for the next 18 years.
In 1973, Rubin transferred to Needham’s Los Angeles office, where Larry Postaer joined him in 1981. Five years later, the two launched their own firm.
“After all that time at big firms, we decided that it didn’t matter much to clients here in Los Angeles whether you were joined to a large worldwide or national firm,” Rubin said. “Knowing that, Larry and I struck out on our own when Needham sold and it has been a real positive thing for us.”
American Honda Motor Co. Inc. became an anchor client for the new agency. “The L.A. market is somewhat unique in the sense that it is dominated by the automotive industry,” Rubin said.
This domination, while feeding and growing the agency scene on the West Coast, “has forced us to look outside the local area to find talented employees for the agency and has driven up salaries.”
Like other ad executives, Rubin uses the word “passion” to describe his work.
“You must have an emotional reason to care in order to survive in this business,” he said. “I tell the younger generation that comes through here that I am happy to teach them business skills, but there is one thing I can’t teach them passion.”
Rubin is as passionate about his off-time as he is about his craft. He says a weekly commute to his home in Santa Barbara on Friday gives him the distance he needs to put the work week behind him.
“It’s the perfect getaway, as I can soak in the charm of the resort area every weekend,” he said. “The beauty of it is that the people I enjoy there socially have little knowledge of my business.”