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Murray Chick has the silver-gray hair and the dark blue suit that befits a 43-year-old advertising executive, but in most other physical respects he resembles an eager schoolboy.
With his top shirt button undone and tie loosened, he grins almost constantly, except while having his photo taken, when the need to keep his wiry frame still brings a serious and almost pained expression to his face.
He chatters willingly and ideas seem to pick him up and carry him along at high speed. "Have you got two minutes?" he says, which is rather odd since we've been talking for half an hour. "I'd really like to explain this." Out comes the pen and paper and the diagram-drawing begins. Rather disconcertingly, he writes a few initials upside down so they can be read from my position opposite him.
The diagram illustrates Chick's analysis of how the communications business works. using a web to show a client company in the middle of a host of marketing service businesses. Chick begins with a detailed explanation of the role of a marketing and planning consultancy in the equation--the kind of capacity in which he worked when not at an agency--before veering off to reveal that "this is not …