Alvin Achenbaum

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Alvin Achenbaum
Born Alvin A. Achenbaum
December 11, 1925
Bronx County, New York
Died January 26, 2016
New York County, New York
Alma mater University of California, Los Angeles; Columbia University
Occupation Marketing Management Consultant

Alvin Achenbaum (December 11, 1925 in Bronx County, New York – January 26, 2016 in New York County, New York was an advertising executive and marketing management consultant of the late 20th century. He is founder and president of the Achenbaum Institute of Marketing. He attended Taft High School and served as a Corporal in the Army Air Corps during World War II.[1] He earned a bachelor's degree in Business Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and a master's degree in Business Economics from Columbia University.[2]

From 1951 to 1974, Achenbaum held senior executive positions at four major advertising agencies in New York City: McCann Erickson, J. Walter Thompson, Grey Advertising, and Ted Bates, where he served as vice chairman, overseeing all professional services.

Marketing management consultant[edit]

Over the next four decades, Achenbaum was chairman of a series of marketing management consultancies, including Canter, Achenbaum and Associates, which he co-founded with longtime colleague Stanley Canter in 1974,[3] and Achenbaum, Bogda Associates, which he formed with Pete Bogda in 1993.[4] These firms advised more than 150 blue chip American and global companies. Notable clients included Procter and Gamble, GE, Nestle, Kraft, Honda, and the United States Department of Defense.[5]

Achenbaum regularly spoke out about emerging trends and the future of advertising and marketing, challenging many of the accepted business practices of the day.[6] He wrote weekly columns for Ad Age and Marketing Week in the 1980s.[7] He generated considerable controversy by challenging the nature of the relationship between advertising agencies and their clients. His consulting work contributed to major changes in both the advertising agency selection process and the development of negotiated agency compensation agreements.[8]

In addition to his work as a practitioner, Achenbaum was an adjunct professor of marketing at the Baruch College of the City University of New York. He also guest lectured at numerous universities, including New York University, Columbia University, and McGill. He was a member of the editorial board of many key professional organizations, including the Market Research Council and the American Marketing Association.

Achenbaum Institute of Marketing[edit]

In 2005, Achenbaum retired from management consulting and turned his efforts toward preparing aspiring marketing professionals and scholars. He founded the Achenbaum Institute of Marketing. In 2012, the Institute donated Achenbaum's professional papers (research studies, presentations, articles, correspondence and speeches) to The John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History at Duke University Libraries.[9] The Hartman Center praised the collection as "one of the rare collections which covers the breadth of a person’s career, while also documenting the internal workings of a number of agencies and consulting firms."[10] The papers comprise over 80,000 items and contain approximately 100 linear feet of material, documenting over fifty years of Achenbaum's professional life.

In 2013, the Achenbaum Institute of Marketing established the Alvin A. Achenbaum Travel Grant Program, which sponsors travel for scholars of marketing, research and advertising to study at the Hartman Center. In 2013, the Institute published Lessons Learned: A Practitioner’s Guide to Successful Marketing, an instructional guide for students and marketers based on the business lessons Achenbaum learned during his long career.[11]

In 1987, Achenbaum was elected to the Market Research Hall of Fame.[12] In 2000, he was named one of the most influential advertising people of the 20th century by Advertising Age.[13]

He resides in New York City.


  1. ^ "Alvin Achenbaum's Biography". Ancient Faces. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Alvin Achenbaum's Curriculum Vitae (
  3. ^ Obituary of Stanley Canter (
  4. ^
  5. ^ "John W. Hartman Center Alvin A. Achenbaum Papers". 
  6. ^ The New York Times: May 23, 1988 (
  7. ^ Clients, Publications and Speeches of Alvin Achenbaum (
  8. ^ Adweek: February 8, 2005 (
  9. ^ Dedication of the Alvin A. Achenbaum Professional Papers at Duke University (
  10. ^ John W. Hartman Center Spring 2013 Newsletter: page 4 (
  11. ^ "Lessons Learned: A Practitioner's Guide to Successful Marketing" by Alvin A. Achenbaum: Copyright 2013 (
  12. ^ Market Research Council Hall of Fame (
  13. ^ Ad Age's List of the 100 most important Advertising People of the 20th Century (

External links[edit]