Hollywood Ad Guru Fred Davis III Heads to D.C.

To Washington Republicans, he’s Hollywood. To Hollywood liberals, he’s a Republican. That unusual frame of mind makes advertising guru Fred Davis III an odd fit for either town. With the Oklahoma-born Davis about to open an office in D.C., I talked to him by phone today about the difference between the two towns. “In California […]

Last Updated: February 19, 2009 @ 9:07 AM

To Washington Republicans, he’s Hollywood. To Hollywood liberals, he’s a Republican. That unusual frame of mind makes advertising guru Fred Davis III an odd fit for either town.

With the Oklahoma-born Davis about to open an office in D.C., I talked to him by phone today about the difference between the two towns.

“In California I wake up and put on jeans and flip flops go to any restaurant or meeting,” he said. “When I go to Washington I feel under-dressed in a suit and open shirt.”

Aside from sartorial differences, there are creative ones, the main reason Davis – who produced the Republican National Convention and some of John McCain’s ads — makes his home on the Left Coast. “In D.C. they have big presentations, long meetings, voluminous study of detail that I think is hopelessly unimportant.” And in Hollywood? “I get a lot of grief for being 3000 miles away, but there’s a variety of thought and creativeness in Hollywood that you don’t get inside the beltway.”

Still, for all his affirmation of Hollywood, the applause is hardly reciprocated.

Recently, Davis said he attended a Hollywood arts forum for actors, speaking on a panel with three members in good standing of the liberal community. “I was the fourth one introduced,” he recalled. “I was actually booed during the introduction. I hadn’t even said a word yet.”

Which prompted me to ask where in town he eats lunch, surely not Spago’s. "I eat at my desk," he said. "I am a food taster."