Benton & Bowles

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Benton & Bowles (B&B) was a New York-based advertising agency founded by William Benton and Chester Bowles in 1929.

History[edit]

The agency's success was closely related to the rise in popularity of radio. Benton & Bowles invented the radio soap opera to promote their clients' products, and by 1936 were responsible for three of the four most popular radio programs on the air. [1]

In 1956, B&B and their client Procter & Gamble launched the nationally-televised soap opera As The World Turns on CBS.

B&B created some of the most memorable commercials on television, including "Look, Ma, No Cavities" for Crest toothpaste and "When E.F. Hutton Talks, People Listen" for the New York brokerage house.

Benton & Bowles merged with D'Arcy-MacManus Masius (D-MM) in 1985 to form D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles (DMB&B). The agency later merged with Leo Burnett Worldwide to form BCOM3 which was subsequently bought by Publicis, marking the demise of the Benton & Bowles brand.

Alumni[edit]

  • Russ Alben, ad executive[1]
  • Victor G. Bloede, former CEO who helped introduce the slogan Good to the last drop for Maxwell House coffee. Mr. Bloede was hired as a copywriter in 1950 and rose quickly, becoming a vice president in 1955 and regularly receiving promotions before being named president and chief executive in 1968. He was the first and only creative executive to run Benton. His promotion came as several agencies were considering moving creative talent, rather than businessmen, into management. [2]
  • Irwin Gotlieb, Global CEO of GroupM
  • Nina Lawrence, publisher of W magazine worked here.
  • Shepherd Mead joined B&B in 1936 as a mail-room clerk. He had worked his way up to a vice-presidency by the time he left in 1956 to pursue a full-time writing career. His most famous book, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, published in 1952, satirizes his corporate experiences at the agency. Written in his spare time — before work and on weekends — the book was a best-seller, and in 1961 it was adapted into a hit Broadway musical, with songs by Frank Loesser and a libretto by Abe Burrows, which in turn became a movie in 1967.
  • Howard Stern worked as an assistant media planner for Benton & Bowles in 1976 before launching his successful radio career.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Russell, Mallory (2012-08-28). "Former Ogilvy Creative Director Russ Alben Dies". Advertising Age. Retrieved 2012-10-02. 
  2. ^ "Victor G. Bloede, 79, Ex-Chief Of Benton & Bowles, Is Dead" New York Times