Getting to Know Jim Spoerl

by AdMavericks on April 16, 2014

Meet Jim Spoerl, account manager at Lessing-Flynn. This charismatic amateur actor has been playing the role of affable account executive at Lessing-Flynn since 1992. In addition to managing accounts, Jim is also a savvy media buyer and producer who’s been placing spots since The War of the Worlds first hit airwaves. Outside LF, Jim is a proud grandfather and an unremarkable golfer.

With all that experience, Jim has a lot of stories and has seen the industry change. We sat down with Jim and heard the highlights of his time at Lessing-Flynn.

Jim Spoerl

AdMavericks: Let’s not beat around the proverbial bush here. Women adore you for your charm and surprisingly attractive man legs. Men envy you for your renegade style and surprisingly attractive man legs. So, just how amazing is it being Jim Spoerl?

JS: I’ve had the privilege of being Jim Spoerl for many decades, in which time I have had very few regrets. In fact, I can count on two fingers the three or four real regrets I’ve had in life.

AdMavericks: That makes no sense.

JS: It does when you view the world through the right lens.

AdMavericks: What’s your secret to success?

JS: Charisma opens doors. So I learned early in life to ride the coattails of those types of people. Access is everything in life. It matters not who’s first or last into the room – or even whose room it is. So long as you have a seat at the table.

AdMavericks: How has marketing and advertising changed since you first sent shockwaves through the game?   

JS: Computers.

AdMavericks: Can you expound on that?  

JS: This industry was built on face-to-face communication. It was about relationships. Building strong relationships that could withstand the changing times, both good and bad. Much of that has been lost in the digital age. Relationships are no longer forged over dinner and drinks, but by way of LinkedIn and emails. So you have to find new ways to wrestle face-to-face communication back into the equation.

AdMavericks: Can you provide an example?  

JS: David Ogilvy once said “If you want action, don’t write. Go and tell the guy what you want.” Thus, if I need to prompt immediate action, I go to that person and discuss the affairs face-to-face. Afterwards, I send them an email thanking them for their time.

AdMavericks: Would you consider Ogilvy to be hero of yours?  

JS: Ogilvy was a pompous egotist. But that comes with the territory when you have that kind of ability and a great head of hair.

AdMavericks: What’s your greatest professional achievement?  

JS: Back in the mid-eighties, the Queen of England once phoned to say how dearly she enjoyed a radio spot I had produced for a now defunct carwash chain.

AdMavericks: You made that up.  

JS: Of course I made it up. This is advertising. If you want praise and awards, enter a spelling bee. There is no such thing as personal achievement in this line of work. You either help your clients move the needle or you go purchase a comfortable pillow.

AdMavericks: What’s the pillow for?  

JS: It’s to sit on when you get kicked to the curb. That’s where marketers who put their own ambitions before those of their clients end up.

AdMavericks: What’s your favorite thing about Lessing-Flynn?  

JS: The potlucks. We have potlucks all the time. The people are pretty swell, too.

AdMavericks: Without people there would be no potlucks.   

JS: Indeed, the one-man potluck is a very lonely thing.

Jim Spoerl

Dance It Out – LF Random Question

by Laura Plumb on April 3, 2014

Agency life can get a little stressful sometimes. Here at Lessing-Flynn, we’ve been known to let loose and dance it out. We asked everyone, “What’s your go-to dance song?”

Still for Agriculture

by Kylee Deniz on March 25, 2014

When Lessing-Flynn opened its doors in 1907…

  • The total U.S. population was 92 million.
  • The farm population was 32 million.
  • Farmers made up 31 percent of the work force.
  • And, there were 6.3 million farms (averaging 138 acres).

Much then changed for the worse.

  • Crop prices plunged 40 percent from 1919 to 1921.
  • The average gross farm income fell by 70 percent from 1919 to 1932.
  • The capital value of America’s farms collapsed by more than $35 billion.
  • The Great Depression wiped out nearly half of Iowa’s farms.

Times transformed the makeup and landscape of farms.

Planting in 1950

  • With 2-bottom gang plows and 2-row planters, cultivators and pickers, it took 10 to 14 hours to produce 100 bushels (on 2 acres) of corn (1945).
  • Tractor use on farms finally exceeded horses and mules (1954).
  • The population of rural America started to rapidly decline.

The genius of Iowa innovators – Borlaug, Vermeer, Carver, Wallace, Kinzenbaw, Myers and Hagie – led to game-changing technologies.

  • 100 horsepower tractors
  • 5-bottom plows
  • 20-foot tandem disks
  • 4 and 6-row planters
  • 20-foot herbicide applicators
  • 12-foot self-propelled combine and trucks

By 1975, it took 3-1/3 hours to produce 100 bushels on 1.125 acres of corn.

Yet, hard times would befall farmers again.

  • The embargoes of the late 1970s.
  • The severe droughts in 1983, 1986 and 1988.
  • A decade when generations of farmers lost everything (1978-1987).
  • Iowa alone recorded around 500 public farm auctions a month (1983) and half of Iowa’s farms vanished when roughly 300,000 farmers had defaulted on their loans and white crosses populated courthouse lawns.
  • By the mid-1980′s, there were only 2.2 million farms.
  • By 1989, farm residents made up only 1.9 percent of the total U.S. population.

Talk to any farmer or livestock producer today about their job and they will tell you about the high costs of inputs and equipment, the insanity of some regulators, and the fickleness of Mother Nature and markets.

But you will also realize something. That this isn’t a job. It’s a way of life. One they are passionate about, in good times and bad.

A booming global population makes an ultra productive agricultural sector paramount to our survival. Farmers continue to answer the call, which is why we owe them a great deal of gratitude.

So here’s to the farmers and livestock producers who continue to defy all odds and rise to the occasion. To those who exemplify the principles that make America great. You move the country forward head by head and row by row. And, Lessing-Flynn will always be behind you.

LF Supporting AGRICULTURE since 1907

March 25, 2014 is recognized as National Ag Day. Tell you more? Every year, producers, agricultural associations, corporations, universities, government agencies and countless others across America join together to recognize the contributions of agriculture. Read more about National Ag Day at

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