Mary Wells Lawrence
Mary Wells Lawrence (born Mary Georgene Berg on May 25, 1928 in Youngstown, Ohio, United States) is a retired American advertising executive. She was the founding president of Wells Rich Greene, an advertising agency known for its creativity and innovative work, and the first female CEO of a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
In the late 1940s, she studied for two years at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she met industrial design student Bert Wells. In 1949 they marry and together they moved to Youngstown, Ohio where Mary began her writing career working as an advertising writer for McKelvey’s department store in 1951. Wells relocates to New York City, where she studied theatre and drama, and by 1952 become Macy's fashion advertising manager. In 1952 she divorces Bert Wells but they remarry in 1954. Wells was a copywriter and copy group head at McCann Erickson in 1953, later joining the Lennen & Newell advertising agency's "brain trust." She began a seven-year tenure at the Doyle Dane Bernbach agency (now DDB Worldwide) in 1957. In her 2002 book, A Big Life in Advertising, Wells cited DDB partners James Edwin Doyle, Maxwell Dane, and William Bernbach as significant influences on her subsequent career.
 Wells Rich Greene
Mary Wells' profile in the advertising world increased dramatically in the mid-1960s when her advertising campaign "The End of the Plain Plane" for Braniff International Airways was a critical factor in the airline's turnaround. She signed on Alexander Girard as project designer, Alexander Calder for aircraft paint schemes, and Emilio Pucci for uniforms for flight attendants and crew.
In 1966, she founded the Wells Rich Greene (WRG) advertising agency as its president with creative partners Richard Rich and Stewart Greene as company treasurer and secretary respectively. Braniff remained a Wells Rich Greene client through 1968. Other major WRG clients included American Motors, Cadbury Schweppes, IBM, MCI Communications, Pan American World Airways, Procter & Gamble, Ralston Purina, RC Cola, and Sheraton Hotels and Resorts.
By 1969, Mary Wells was reported to be the highest-paid executive in advertising. She was selected by U.S. Vice President Nelson Rockefeller to be a member of his Commission on Critical Choices for America, and invited by U.S. President Gerald Ford to represent business at an Economic Summit in Washington, D.C.
Mary Wells stepped down as CEO in 1990 and the agency was sold to Boulet Dru Dupuy Petit (BDDP). After ceasing operations in 1998, Wells Rich Greene BDDP donated its archive of print and television ads to Duke University's John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising and Marketing History.
 Notable agency slogans
- Plop plop, fizz fizz
- I can't believe I ate the whole thing (winner of the 1971 Clio Award)
- Try it, you'll like it
- I ♥ New York
- Trust the Midas touch
- At Ford, Quality is Job 1
- Flick your Bic
- Raise your hand if you're Sure
- Friends don't let friends drive drunk 
- Named one of the top ten newsmakers of the 1960s by Advertising Age.
- The youngest member to be inducted into the Copywriters Hall of Fame.
- Named the 1971 Advertising Woman of the Year by the American Advertising Federation.
- Inducted into the American Advertising Federation Hall of Fame in 1999.
- Mary Wells Lawrence. A Big Life in Advertising. Hardcover: Alfred A. Knopf, 2002, ISBN 0-375-40912-2 Paperback: Touchstone, 2003, ISBN 0-7432-4586-5
Mary Wells Lawrence is one of the five founders of wowOwow, a website created, owned, and written by women for women, which launched on March 8, 2008, International Women's Day. The wOw founders are Joni Evans, Peggy Noonan, Liz Smith, Lesley Stahl, and Mary Wells Lawrence. The WOW contributors are Candice Bergen, Joan Juliet Buck, Joan Ganz Cooney, Joni Evans, Whoopi Goldberg, Judith Martin, Sheila Nevins, Peggy Noonan, Julia Reed, Liz Smith, Lesley Stahl, Marlo Thomas, Lily Tomlin, Jane Wagner, and Mary Wells Lawrence.
- Stuart Elliott (May 27, 2002). "An Advertising Legend". The New York Times. "During her heyday in the 1960s and 1970s, she and her agency, Wells Rich Greene, were the architects of an approach to advertising that blended entertainment production values with old-fashioned selling techniques as never before. The campaigns she helped develop in a time before giant agency companies resulted in jingles and tag lines - "Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz" for Alka-Seltzer and Ford's "Quality Is Job One" - that burrowed their way into the American memory."
- "Wells Rich Greene: Si modesti essemus, perfecti essemus". The Center for Interactive Advertising. March 30, 2004.
- "Ad Agency Archive Donated to Duke Libraries". Duke University News Service. June 3, 1999. "An intelligent, energetic, and aggressive leader, Wells became known early in her career as the first woman in advertising to break through the industry's "glass ceiling," especially after she landed a $12 million account with American Motors Corporation in 1967. Based in New York City, the company made its reputation with innovative work and experienced intense growth in its first decade of business."
- "The (advertising) World According to Lawrence". Book review on Knowledge@Wharton, an online publication of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
- Lawrence, Mary Wells (2002). A Big Life (in advertising). New York: Alfred A. Knopf. pp. 56–59. ISBN 0-7432-4586-5.
- William Norwich (May 17, 2001). "From Dream House to Dream House on the Riviera". The New York Times.
- Kenneth N. Gilpin (January 19, 2002). "Harding L. Lawrence, 81, Airline Chief, Dies". The New York Times (NYT abstract). "Braniff was the first client of Wells, Rich, Greene Inc. Ms. Wells's concept, the "End of the Plain Plane," led Braniff to paint its planes in bright colors and dress its flight attendants in Pucci-designed uniforms. One DC-8 jetliner on the airline's Latin American routes was painted in playful wavy patterns by Alexander Calder. "More people will see this painting by a famous artist in a shorter time than perhaps any other in history," Mr. Lawrence said in 1973. Braniff paid the artist $100,000."
- Michael McMurtrey (April 2000). "Harding Lawrence - July 15, 1920 - January 16, 2002". The Braniff Family.
- "The End of the Plain Plane". BraniffPages.com.
- Jason Mojica (2003). "Alexander Girard". The Modernist.
- San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (June 23, 2006). "Press Release". SFMOMA Celebrates the Vibrant Work of Alexander Girard. "In 1968 Girard designed a line of furniture for Herman Miller based on his earlier (1965) designs for Braniff Airlines."
- Allison Fass (December 27, 2000). "THE MEDIA BUSINESS: ADVERTISING; A new campaign against drunken driving looks at the family and friends of those who have died". The New York Times. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
- Edd Applegate. The Ad Men and Women: A Biographical Dictionary of Advertising. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1994. ISBN 0-313-27801-6 (Table of contents).
- "Mary Wells Lawrence". American Advertising Federation Hall of Fame website.
- wowOwow website
 Further reading
- "Taking Off with Talk". TIME. June 2, 1967.
- "Up, Up and Away with Mary Wells". TIME. August 23, 1968.
- Noreen O'Leary interview with Mary Wells Lawrence (April 15, 2002). "Something About Mary". Adweek, on AllBusiness.com.
- Bruce Horovitz, Vancouver (May 2, 2002). "Queen of advertising tells all". USA Today.
- Adam Begley (May 12, 2002). "'Grey Flannel Gal' Tells All - Flying High on Madison Avenue". The New York Observer.
- Tim McHale (September 14, 2005). "An Open Letter To Mary Wells Lawrence - A Sentimental Look Back". The Madison Avenue Journal. (Originally published in MediaPost May 29, 2002).
- Todd Leopold (June 19, 2002). "When Mad. Ave. was the center of the universe". CNN book review.
- The Lady Who Got an Era. Student thesis for Fall 1996 course in the Department of Advertising in the University of Texas at Austin College of Communication. Copyright 1996, Youngseon Kim. Thesis hosted online by the University's Center for Interactive Advertising (ciAd).
-  Braniff Flying Colors - Braniff History Page
- Mary Wells Lawrence at wowOwow
- "Madison Avenue", BBC Adam Curtis blog discusses Wells' career and features a film about Braniff from 1967 in which Wells speaks.