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1948: David Ogilvy becomes an ad man in 1948

David Ogilvy

Before founding New York-based Hewitt, Ogilvy, Benson & Mather (which would eventually become Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide) at 38 years old, David Ogilvy held a number of different jobs across the globe. He sold stoves as an Aga salesman, worked with the Intelligence Service at the British Embassy in Washington and even became a farmer in Pennsylvania before starting his now famous agency.

In the agency’s rst 20 years, Ogilvy won assignments from Lever Brothers, General Foods and American Express, Shell gave him its entire account in North America, and Sears hired him for its first national advertising campaign.

“I doubt whether any copywriter has ever had so many winners in such a short period of time,” Ogilvy wrote in his autobiography. “They made Ogilvy & Mather so hot that getting clients was like shooting sh in a barrel.”

Throughout his career in advertising, Ogilvy accomplished much – he was elected to the US Advertising Hall of Fame in 1977 – and to this day is regarded as one of a handful of people who helped mold the advertising industry into what it is today.

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