Best In The Midwest
Specially compiled by The Jerusalem Past
Yaffe & Company's focus on retail clients has paid off.
STEVE STEIN STAFF WRITER
t age 61, Fred Yaffe says
he's having the "best time
of my life." Who could
The chairman and CEO of the
Southfield-based Yaffe & Corn-
pany advertising agency is cele-
brating his firm's second
consecutive yearly ranking as the
hottest agency in the Midwest by
Adweek magazine. Adweek also
ranked Yaffe as the second
hottest agency in the country.
Criteria included new clients
signed, sales growth, creativity
and management savvy.
"I guess it took me 35 years to
be an overnight sensation," said
Mr. Yaffe, whose advertising
roots go back to 1959, when Fred
Yaffe & Company was formed.
He later headed Yaffe Stone Au-
gust Inc., Barkley & Evergreen,
and Yaffe Berline Inc.
Yaffe billings increased 52.2
percent (to approximately $84
million) from 1992 to 1993 and
the company picked up two
major accounts in Phar-Mor
and the Michigan Lottery.
They joined others like Art
Van Furniture, Fretter Inc., Per-
ry Drug Stores, First Federal of
Michigan, the Detroit News, Park
West Gallery and other big-name
clients in Chicago, Florida and
Arizona. The Michigan Lottery
and the Detroit News returned to
Yaffe after long absences.
Mr. Yaffe expects billings to
top the $100 million mark this
year. His firm employs more than
100 and it has satellite offices in
Phoenix, Ariz., and Youngstown,
Ohio. It is Michigan's third
largest independent advertising
A strategy which focuses on re-
tail clients has been the key to
Mr. Yaffe's success in the past few
"We feel we've carved out a
niche in our business and we do
it better than anyone else," said
Mr. Yaffe, who was born in
Brooklyn, N.Y., graduated from
the same high school which pro-
duced Barbra Streisand and Neil
Diamond, and earned a bache-
lor's and MBA degrees from the
University of Michigan.
He also served in the U.S.
Army as an analytic statistician
at the Ballistics Research Labo-
"It's our goal to have the men-
tality of a small or medium firm
but the ability to act like a large
firm," Mr. Yaffe said. "We'd also
rather be really involved with 14
— $1 EQUALS 3.0090 NIS (shekels) - Close Price 5/18/94 —
Rise In Prices Stuns Economists
Israel's Consumer Price Index
shot up two percent in April,
registering the highest rise in
a month since August 1991.
Rahamim Ozama, head of the
Central Bureau of Statistics'
price division, estimates infla-
tion is now running at 13.5
percent annually, based on
the first four months of the
Although most economists
expected a high April index be-
cause of seasonal factors, they
were caught by surprise by the
magnitude of the jump in
prices. Housing prices, in par-
ticular, • continued roaring
ahead. They contributed 40
percent of the index rise last
month. Economists had said
the stock market's downturn
earlier in the year would help
moderate housing prices.
President Dan Propper did not
take April's index calmly. He
blasted the government for fail-
ing to keep housing prices in
check, calling its housing poli-
cy "an abject failure to date."
He also blamed the govern-
ment's generous public sector
wage agreements for fueling in-
Mr. Propper warned that
failing to meet the govern-
ment's 8 percent inflation goal
will lead to higher interest rates
and require the central bank to
devalue the shekel at a faster
Ace Is the Place In Haifa
Ace Israel, the Israeffranchise MS 2 million. The company is
owner of the United States- owned by Dovrat Shrem, the
based do-it-yourself giant Ace Hagai Group and businessman
Hardware, announced it will Arnon Gimpel. Ace Israel in-
open a second store in Haifa in tends to open a third store by
September at an investment of year's end.
The Plane Truth: Israel Buys Jets
Fred Yaffe has plenty of reasons to smile.
or 15 clients than do a little bit of
work for 50, 60 or 70.
"In this era of too many retail
establishments, our job is to com-
municate to the public what our
clients are all about while at the
same time drive their business.
We feel that's our hallmark."
A little controversy in an ad-
vertising campaign isn't neces-
sarily harmful, according to Mr.
"Whether something slightly
off-center was done 30 years ago
or today, you'll hear about it," Mr.
Yaffe said. "Somebody will
protest and suggest a different
way of doing things. I don't think
controversy is always bad,
though, because it makes people
Mr. Yaffe recalled a campaign
his firm did for a thoroughbred
racetrack in Cleveland a few
years back. The ads encouraged
people to skip work in the
afternoon — even suggesting a
few excuses — and come to the
"We made the 6 o'clock news
and we received criticism, but Mr.
DeBartolo (owner Eddie DeBar-
tolo Sr.) was pleased with the re-
action to the campaign," Mr.
Speaking last week to mem-
bers of the Women's Advertising
Club of Detroit at the Southfield
Marriott, Mr. Yaffe said he pre-
dicts regional shopping centers
are going to enter a "difficult pe-
"Because I believe we're going
to see a shift toward entertain-
ment centers," he said. "They'll
have multiplex theaters, health
clubs, theme restaurants,
specialty shops ... they'll be places
for families to do things togeth-
"That's what Mike Ilitch is
proposing in the Fox District in
downtown Detroit and he's right
on. It could be the beginning of
the rebirth of the city.
"I remember the days when we
used to go downtown for fun. I
think people will start going
down there again if this complex
is built. And because there is safe-
ty in numbers, people will feel
more comfortable about going
Mr. Yaffe is active in many
community organizations. He
serves on both the executive com-
mittee and board of directors of
Leader Dogs for the Blind and
the Michigan board of the Weiz-
mann Institute of Science.
The United States and Israel weather, day/night, long-range
have signed an authorization F-15I.
The deal, worth about $2 bil-
for St. Louis-based McDonnell
Douglas to produce 21 lion, is expected to extend the
F-15I Eagle fighter jets for the life of McDonnell Douglas' F-15
production program through
The decision to purchase the 1999.
Israel will have the option of
F-15I, a version of the U.S. Air
Force's F-15E, was made last buying up to four more jets. Mc-
January following a year-long Donnell Douglas and Israel also
evaluation process that includ- will design an off-set deal that
ed consideration of the Lock- will move the manufacturing
heed F-16ES, a jet tailor- of some of the plane's compo-
designed for Israel. Instead, the nents to Israel. The first planes
IAF decided to purchase the all- will be delivered by 1997.
Sweet Deal For Oppenheimer
Oppenheimer is in the final in Israel. Oppenheimer fore-
stages of negotiations with casts $1 million in annual sales
United States chocolate mak- of Hershey products.
er Hershey to sell its products
Iacocca On His Way To Israel
Outgoing Chrysler chairman
Lee Iacocca is scheduled to vis-
it Israel next month to meet
with the Haifa-based Silicon
Heights. Iacocca, in partner-
ship with business associate
Allen Paulson — the owner of
Laser Tech Enterprises — re-
cently signed an agreement
with Avner Sur, managing di-
rector of Silicon Heights.
Silicon Heights is the man-
ufacturer of ControLaser, an
invention which helps drivers
avoid collisions. According to
the agreement, the product will
be sold to Chrysler and the U.S.
automotive parts market.
ControLaser is installed in
the car near the windshield and
gives the driver accurate infor-
mation that until now could
only be estimated by the hu-