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When Scott Lackey ’74 and his partner were wondering what to call their new advertising agency, they decided to go for the Jugular.

“It’s distinctive. It’s aggressive,” Lackey says.

The co-founder/strategic director of Jugular says the company’s name reflects a trend in the advertising industry toward the iconoclastic. The name also positions the agency as a dynamic force that can strike a nerve with consumers.

It did just that with the launch of a Los Angeles ad campaign for Prometa last spring. Promoting the new treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, billboards featured a photo of the late comedian Chris Farley, who died of a drug overdose, along with the words “It Wasn’t All His Fault.” One was outside the hotel where Farley’s idol, comedian John Belushi, had also died of a drug overdose.

From the “Today Show,” FOX News, CNN, and MSNBC to the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Associated Press, the billboards drew the attention of media around the country.

“It (the campaign) started a fundamental debate about the nature of addiction. It was the most amazing thing I was involved with,” Lackey says.

That’s saying a lot. The industry veteran has served as strategic director at some of the most well known advertising agencies in the country and managed accounts valued at up to $125 million. In the early 1980s, he worked on the Charlie Chaplin IBM commercials that heralded the home computer revolution and, in the 1990s, on the AT&T Universal no-fee credit card, starting a trend in consumer credit cards.

Lackey credits his liberal arts education with giving him the background and critical-thinking skills needed to work on such wide-ranging accounts. This English graduate also credits the College with giving him the encouragement and confidence needed to write.

“I went from the fear of a blank page to confidence in a blank page,” says Lackey, a former New York University professor.

Lackey has used his skills and confidence to take himself from the halls of Lafayette to his own office space in midtown Manhattan, where he and Jugular co-founder/creative director Jeff Griffith have set up shop. Now, he says, they can call their own shots and determine their own destiny

“Finally, it’s all about the work,” he says.

Although his dream client — Porsche –  still eludes Lackey, Jugular has started quickly. His firm’s work runs the marketing communications gamut from traditional print ads to web design to innovative branding. Accounts have included Long John Silver’s, Snickers, and many others.

While Griffith handles the creative side, Lackey works on the integrated strategy for the agency’s communications. A former copywriter himself, Lackey says his role is to protect good work from ending up in the trash bin before it even sees the client.

Lackey’s son, Sean ’06, a former member of Lafayette’s ice hockey team, also is in the advertising business. And, even though his daughter, Erin, decided to attend Middlebury College, Lackey insisted she make a Lafayette connection. He urged her to take courses with another English graduate, renowned poet and author Jay Parini ’70.

A good education in English helped Lackey “think, speak, and write clearly.” He cites his favorite English professor, James Lusardi, who taught Milton, Shakespeare, and Renaissance literature. More than 30 years later, he recalls the professor once blasted a paper he wrote about the Machiavellian influence on Richard III.

“He was incredibly charismatic — and a lunatic about writing,” he says.

Lackey has been an externship host, a phonathon volunteer, and shared his experiences with Lafayette students as part of a career services dinner panel. In 2004, he and two classmates received the Alumni Association’s Webmaster Award for their work on the Class of 1974 webpage.

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles