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Neil Drossman, ad writer famous for his wit and wordplay, dies at 83

(JTA) — Neil Drossman, who began his career in copywriting at the tail end of the “Mad Men” era and went on to create some of the most admired tag lines and campaigns in the history of the advertising business, died Nov. 25 at age 83. The cause was cancer, family members said.

The Brooklyn-born Drossman was known for witty catchphrases that stuck with consumers, advertising products such as Meow Mix cat food, Einstein Moomjy Carpets, Airwick air freshener and Chemical Bank.

When Purina introduced Meow Mix in 1974, Drossman wrote the tag line, “The Cat Food Cats Ask For By Name.” For Emery Air Freight, an air cargo carrier, he wrote an ad featuring a photo of globe-trotting Secretary of State Henry Kissinger with the headline, “Emery flies to more places than he does.”

One of Drossman’s most memorable campaigns was for Teacher’s scotch, which featured ghost-written testimonials by various celebrity drinkers, including the Jewish entertainers Groucho Marx, Zero Mostel and Mel Brooks.

The Mel Brooks ad featured the creator of the “2,000 Year Old Man” dressed as a caveman holding a glass of scotch while sitting on a pile of boulders. “2,000 years ago when you had a scotch on the rocks, you really had a scotch on the rocks,” the headline reads.

The family still has a autograph from Brooks addressed to Drossman, reading, “You do me better than I do me.”

“Seeing his work transformed my views of what advertising could be,” the advertising executive Lee Garfinkel wrote in a tribute last month in the trade journal Ad Age. “Each headline was smart, funny, insightful, unexpected and thought-provoking. I didn’t know that advertising could be so clever and feel so fresh.”

Drossman, born on Feb. 26, 1940, grew up in Brooklyn and was a devoted Brooklyn Dodgers fan until the team decamped to Los Angeles in 1958. His father Edward started a jewelry business on Manhattan’s Canal Street. When the elder Drossman died of a heart attack in his early 60s, his widow, Anne Drossman, took over the business, which survives to this day, co-owned and operated by Neil’s wife, Ellen Drossman, and Neil’s sister, Phyllis Bulhack.

The basketball-loving Drossman attended Alfred University in upstate New York and after college got a job working at CBS News. He got his first job in the advertising business in the 1970s and worked on and off for 50 years with the legendary ad man and restaurateur Jerry Della Femina, who ran a series of agencies.

“When it came down to day-in-day-out Joe Lunchpail writing, with the kind of amazing talent that got everyone’s attention, whether he was first pounding a typewriter or later composing on a computer,” Della Famina wrote in a tribute on Facebook, “Neil Drossman was the best copywriter there ever was.”

Grossman also served as chairman and co-creative director at Needleman Drossman & Partners and was co-founder of Ryan Drossman/MARC USA.

The witty Drossman could also turn serious or sentimental when the occasion demanded it, as he did when Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey needed an image makeover. Drossman came up with the slogan, “When you feel good, we feel good.”

Other copywriters admired his ad for Goodwill Industries, which showed a man in a wheelchair fixing a TV set. The headline reads, “What you see here is a TV set repairing a man.”

He also created the slogan and logo that appears on the doors of NYPD patrol cars, reading “Courtesy, Professionalism and Respect.”

Drossman retired on Jan. 31, 2023. A New York Knicks fan, Drosssman was a regular player in a year-round weekly pickup basketball game in Greenwich Village before he was sidelined by hip surgery. The Knicks player and future coach Phil Jackson would sometimes take part in those games, and he nicknamed Drossman “the Glove” for his skills at defense.

His survivors include his wife, Ellen Drossman; his son Edward, his daughter Jill, and three grandchildren.

The post Neil Drossman, ad writer famous for his wit and wordplay, dies at 83 appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Russia Extends Invitation to Palestinian Factions for Talks in Moscow

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Photo: Reuters/Maxim Shemetov

i24 NewsRussia has extended invitations to various Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Fatah, for discussions on the Israel-Hamas conflict and broader issues in the Middle East.

Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov announced the initiative on Friday, highlighting Moscow’s desire to engage with all major players in the region amid heightened tensions.

The invitation included a dozen Palestinian groups and is slated for “inter-Palestinian” talks scheduled to commence on February 29.

Bogdanov, serving as President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy for the Middle East, emphasized the inclusivity of the invitation, stating, “We invited all Palestinian representatives — all political forces that have their positions in different countries, including Syria, Lebanon, and other countries in the region.”

Among the invitees are Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, alongside representatives of Fatah and the broader Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

The invitation comes at a critical juncture as the Israel-Hamas conflict continues to escalate, drawing international attention and concern. Russia’s proactive stance in convening discussions reflects its growing criticism of Israel and its Western allies, underscoring Moscow’s efforts to assert its influence in the region.

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Netanyahu: Those Who Want us to Desist from Rafah Op Are Telling Us to Lose

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a press conference with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel, Oct. 28, 2023. Photo: ABIR SULTAN POOL/Pool via REUTERS

i24 NewsHamas drops its “delusional” demands, productive hostage talks could begin, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday, stressing Israel would not agree to the terror group’s current demands.

WATCH: PM Netanyahu delivers a statement after Hamas suspended negotiations

— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) February 17, 2024

“I insist that Hamas should abandon its delusional demands – and when it does, we will be able to move forward,” Netanyahu said in a statement live on TV.

“Those who want us to desist from the Rafah operation,” the leader said in an apparent reference to the U.S. administration of President Joe Biden, “are telling us we should lose. We won’t be dictated to.”

The post Netanyahu: Those Who Want us to Desist from Rafah Op Are Telling Us to Lose first appeared on

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Iran Unveils New Air Defense Weaponry

Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Mohammad-Reza Ashtiani speaks at a press conference during the unveiling of a new surface-to-surface 4th generation Khorramshahr ballistic missile. Photo: Reuters/West Asia News Agency

i24 NewsIran demonstrated new weaponry on Saturday, including what it said was the locally made Arman anti-ballistic missile system and the Azarakhsh low-altitude air defense system, said the official IRNA news agency. Saturday’s unveiling ceremony of the two vehicle-mounted systems was held in the presence of Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani.

“With the entry of new systems into the country’s defense network, the air defense capability of the Islamic Republic of Iran will increase significantly,” said IRNA.

Video of the new Azarakhsh SHORAD engaging a target drone

It’s radar has a detection range of 50km, with 25km for it’s EO/IR suite

— Iran Defense|نیروهای مسلح جمهوری اسلامی ایران (@IranDefense) February 17, 2024

The Arman missile system is said to be able to “simultaneously confront six targets at a distance of 120 to 180 km,” while the Azarakhsh missile system “can identify and destroy targets up to a range of 50 km with four ready-to-fire missiles.”

The announcement comes amid tensions across the Middle East, with Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis attacking vessels linked to the United States, UK and Israel in the Red Sea in a show of solidarity with the Gaza Strip.

Iran unveils domestically-manufactured Arman anti-ballistic missile and Azarakhsh low-altitude air defense system

— Press TV (@PressTV) February 17, 2024

The U.S. and its allies in the Middle East are concerned with Iran’s growing role at the international global arms market, The Wall Street Journal said on Friday. The transformation of the industry, boosted by Russia’s “purchase of thousands of drones that altered the battlefield in Ukraine, has helped Tehran scale up its support of militia allies in Middle East conflicts,” read the report.

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