GM's Ad Man
In the land of the gray flannel suit, Phil Guarascio is the one wearing Armani.
Paul A. Eisenstein
From the Print Edition:
Demi Moore, Autumn 96
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Guarascio and his wife of 33 years, Ruth, have two children: Lisa, 30, and David, 27. With the kids now on their own, Phil and Ruth live in the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills. Their elegant home is filled with his hobbies and collections: cigars and wine and fine art, with an emphasis on photography and art glass. It is designed to provide a respite, but one he doesn't take advantage of very often, for despite his heavy work and travel schedule, Guarascio takes little time to slow down. Weekends are filled with squash in the morning, golf in the afternoon, a charity event at night. But it's not all just for fun, he insists with a grin. "Knowing what's going on in the world, what people are eating, what they're wearing and where they're going, it helps you become a successful marketer."
Several years ago, Guarascio's colleagues in the Detroit ad community put his power in perspective with a one-act skit dubbed "The Wizard of Guar-Oz." Guarascio is more than just a big fish in a small pond. He's the whale.
When Phil Guarascio moved to Detroit, some friends chipped in to buy him a one-way return ticket to New York. It's still hanging in a frame behind his desk. He has become the big in his own apple, and he's not planning to leave. At least not until he hears the cheering.
Paul A. Eisenstein runs The Detroit Bureau, an independent automotive news service.
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