Dick Hadley

Dick Hadley • Written 3/2/2017

Dick Hadley had an early love affair with newspapers, journalism, sales and advertising. He discovered his love of newspapers, not on his paper route, but while taking a journalism class at Lincoln High School and writing for the Totem, the school paper.

He saw it as a great way to get in on the ground floor of major events, issues and stories and gain the power to influence people, attitudes and opinions. (He also was responsible for ad sales.)

Dick enrolled at the University of Washington to become a dentist, then a geologist, then an oceanographer, then a ???—before settling in at the School of Communications. The fit was perfect; he finally had found a home in a huge school of more than 45,000 students. The advertising sequence was taught by professors, Dan Warner and Bill Winters—both great ad agency pros.

During college, he got an internship at the Fred Baker Agency, which had the coveted Boeing account. But Dick was assigned to the Heidelberg Beer account, which was not bad for a fraternity guy!

After graduation, Hadley went directly to Cole & Weber to interview, fully expecting to be hired. But they said they only hired those with experience and preferred those who’d worked on the “client side.”

Though dejected, he went to The Seattle Times to interview, using the “journalism” side of his degree. He was hired and soon learned that the “advertising” side seemed to be having more fun than the news side—and he transferred immediately.

He got plenty of “client-side” experience, handling accounts like the Bon Marche and the Northgate, Tacoma and Southcenter Malls. The Tacoma Mall later hired him away as its marketing director.

As luck would have it, Cole & Weber was handling the Tacoma Mall’s advertising and a year later he was invited to meet the legendary Hals (Dixon and Newsom) and his dream job as a Cole & Weber account exec was realized!

He worked on Tacoma clients, including Puget Sound Bank (which he handled for more than 20 years), the Tacoma News Tribune and several other accounts.

You’ll have to read his Commentary at www.marketingimmortals.com for details of his work with Boeing, the Ford dealers and others—and his life as an agency principal after C&W and now as a retiree.

He was awarded the David Ogilvy Golden Eagle Award in recognition of his 20 years at Cole & Weber as well as  the AAF Silver Medal from the AAF Seattle Chapter in 2009.

April 1,1969, a Dream comes true. Got a job at Cole & Weber Advertising; I so hope it is not an April Fools’ joke!?!

With a new job at Seattle’s leading & best advertising agency my life will never be the same again. Working with the best people, the best accounts and best clients will shape my career for the next 50 years! The likes of Hal Dixon, Hal Newsom, John Brown, Dennis Hinton, Jack Burnet and a host of others, would mentor and guide me to a successful, enjoyable and rewarding life in the advertising business. 

My first C & W assignment was to handle a host of their Tacoma clients Including Puget Sound National Bank (which I managed for over 20 years!), The News Tribune newspaper, and a number of other high profile ’T-Town’ companies!

Shortly after joining Cole and Weber I was assigned to the Western International Hotel (now Westin Hotels & Resorts) de Mexico properties account. I worked on 28 Mexican and Latin American hotels and resorts. Even giving presentations in Spanish! 

My interest grew in the ‘international’ marketing side of the business. This worked nicely when Cole and Weber won the world-wide Boeing Account!  C & W was not well equipped to handle the account globally…languages, translations, media placement, political environments, etc. I set out to build, and work with, a worldwide group of 35  affiliate agencies. This allowed us to handle the account around the world rather seamlessly. I was in the air, and on the road much of my time traveling the world to service the Boeing Commercial Jetliner business!

And talk about the excitement and effort surrounding a new product launch, think of when Boeing introduced the next Generation Jetliners (757, 767 and 777), full global campaigns, with ads in nearly every important newspaper and magazine in the world; in over 60 different languages! 

When not in the air on Boeing, I was ‘on the ground’ working with 135 Ford dealers in WA, OR MO, and ID crafting local ads to well position FORD as the #1 choice in the Northwest!  These local ads were to complement FORD’s National advertising efforts!

I worked with these dealers for 20+ years.

Cole & Weber was acquired by Ogilvy and Mather to aid in our expansion and growth!

I was selected and sent to New York to enroll in the O & M Senior Management program. After the session I returned to Seattle and became a senior manager and the COO of C & W.

I worked on, and with, tons of great people, companies, products, with fabulous creative, smart strategies, and great results during my 20+ years at Cole & Weber. And LOVED every minute and moment!

I was awarded The David Ogilvy Golden Eagle Award in recognition for my 20 years of service!

And then, Cole & Weber (Ogilvy & Mather) won a larger Seattle bank account and wanted to resign Puget Sound Bank, an account we had held for over 30+ years.

I found the best solution, I would depart C & W, with their blessings, and the Puget Sound Bank account in hand! It was an account I had worked on ever since my first day at C & W! This sounded great to everyone! I called my old pal and friend John Brown, head of the John Brown & Partners, a fabulous creative agency, one that had won more awards then any shop around!  I asked if I could join the agency!?! He agreed, later the name was changed to Brown&Hadley And Partners!

Mergers and acquisitions are the bane of the advertising business. They have killed many a great agency. It is what makes Mad Men, Mad!  A few years after joining John Brown, Puget Sound Bank was bought out by KEY Bank. Thus ending some of the best bank advertising the Northwest, or for that matter, that the Banking industry had ever seen!

I was asked by John Kobasic and Dan Fine to join their agency. The company anchored by a great Creative Director, Cam Green. We hit it off immediately! We are great friends and great partners! Kobasic retires and the agency becomes Hadley Green Creates! We grow and advance, beginning to appear on the “Top Advertising Agencies” in the Book of Lists!

And our shop receives the “Best Place to Work Award!” A very proud moment! We love our employees, they are the BEST!!

We build a very impresive client list including Columbia Bank, Microsoft, Precept Wines,

Raleigh Bikes (I rode STP bike race  5X=1,000+ miles), The Downtown Seattle Association (where I served on the DSA Board of Directors for 10 years) and a host of other high-grade clients, companies and organizations all receiving great work, smart people and tons of care and attention!

I ’m proud to have received the Seattle’s AAF Silver Medal for advertising person of the year!

After 15+ great years together, and a health hiccup, Hadley Green finds a great replacement for me. It is John Rubino. He is a real talent and a great partner. Look for his name on the door!

The agency continues to go and grow! Well ranked and well regarded! Now on the Top 5 agency on the “PSBJ Book of Lists!!! “

Karen and I are basking in the Arizona sun! And summering over on Vashon Island!

PS: •  45 years in the business and what a ride it has been!!

       •  It was the best of times; make that the best, best of times!

       •  Loved every minute. Never a dull moment!

       •  Worked with the biggest, best and brightest!

       •  Good, no; Better, no, BEST, YES!!

       •  Never allow a great job to become a burden. ENJOY!


Things I am proud of:

My 50 marriage to the love-of-my life, Karen. The Best 50 ever!

Our boys: Eric & Craig, their wives Gina, Jessie

Our ‘grands—Francesca (14) and Jasper (11)

                       Henry (10) & ‘Boots’ (4)

Our Health, family, friends and travels


Eagle Scout:

“Be Prepared”

“Do a good turn daily”

“On my honor to do my best”