TILTING AT WINDMILLS
“If the United States doesn’t act forcefully and intelligently to define itself in the post-9/11 world, our enemies and detractors across the
globe will gladly do it for us. U.S. corporations have a responsibility
to leverage their enormous reach and influence to improve the
overall reputation of our country.”1
—Keith Reinhard, president,
Business for Diplomatic Action, and chairman emeritus,
DDB Worldwide Communications
DESPITE HIS FASHIONABLY CLOSE-CROPPED HAIRCUT, DESIGNER eyeglass frames, and black-on-black tailored clothing, Keith Reinhard’s pulse beats to the easy rhythms of the Midwestern states where he was brought up and lived until the mid-1980s. Those homely sensibilities have made him a wealthy man.
Reinhard is an ad man, a legendary creative director and chairman emeritus of one of the world’s leading agency networks, but he learned his craft on Madison Avenue side streets that pass through the small farm communities of Indiana and Illinois. That’s where he began his career, albeit on the edges of advertising. His story is uniquely American.
For Reinhard, the attacks of September 11, 2001, were personal. Much of the destruction occurred less than five miles from his office on Madison Avenue behind Saint Patrick’s cathedral. When he went into the street he could smell the smoke and feel the ash from the collapsed World Trade Center buildings. He could hear the sirens of emergency vehicles screaming south, and he saw the stream of black-