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JOHN PHILIP CUNNINGHAM, 65, is the debonair Don Quixote of advertising. As executive committee chairman of Cunningham & Walsh (1961 billings: $48.5 million), he publicly lambastes the vulgar sell ("When we load the television screen with arrows running around people's stomachs, we are boring the public") and the oversell ("When we plaster five different commercial messages right after one another at station-break time, we are boring the public"). Harvardman ('19) Cunningham gets away with such blunt talk because admen admire him as one of the great copywriters of all time. Among his notable creations: Chesterfield's "Blow some my way," which came along as women took up smoking in earnest, and the campaign that stressed the cleanliness of the bathrooms at Texaco stations instead of the spunk of Texaco gas. Cunningham, who launched Cunningham & Walsh in 1950, once said, "Creative men build agencies. Businessmen eventually run them." Last year, stepping upstairs, Jack Cunningham turned over the chief executive's duties at C. &. W. to President Carl Nichols, now 39.
OGILVY: The Literate Wizard
ADVERTISING is salesmanshipit is not fine art, literature or entertainment," insists David Mackenzie Ogilvy, 51, chairman of Manhattan's Ogilvy, Benson & Mather. Yet it is Ogilvy's flair for creating ads that are literate and entertaining while tugging at the purse strings that has made him the most sought-after wizard in today's advertising industry. It was Ogilvy who immortalized Hathaway shirts with Baron Wrangel's eyepatch and bearded Commander Whitehead for Schweppes. Cultivated, charming and handsome enough to model occasionally in his own ads, British-born David Ogilvy studied history at Oxford, served a Depression stint as a chef in a Paris hotel, and sold stoves door to door in Scotland before coming to the U.S. to work for Pollster George Gallup. When he set up his agency in 1948, Ogilvy made a private list of the five clients he wanted most: General Foods, Bristol-Myers, Campbell Soup, Lever Bros, and Shell. Today he has some business from all five, and his agency's billings ($47.5 million last year) are almost eight times greater than a decade ago. Recently he was selected by Washington to sing the charms of the U.S. to prospective tourists from Britain, France and West Germany. "Every advertisement I write for the U.S. Travel Service," he muses, "is a bread-and-butter letter from a grateful immigrant."