Hal Riney Leaves A Legacy In Advertising

Steve Kroft, Leslie Stahl on Don Hewitt, day after he died CBS

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

The advertising world lost one of its geniuses this week. His was not a household name, but everyone knew his commercials.

Remember those ads for Bartles and James wines? Two old guys on a porch; one talked, the other never said a word and the ad always ended with "Thank you for your support."

Hal Riney was also responsible for a bank campaign in California designed to attract younger customers which would give birth to The Carpenters hit song, "We've Only Just Begun."

And it was Riney who put the Saturn brand of automobiles on the map with his commercials that end with a different kind of company and a different kind of car.

But his Tour De Force married both his voice and his creativity. The year was 1984: Ronald Reagan's election campaign. Riney captured the mood of a country, and with it, delivered Reagan a landslide victory.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.

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