Charlotte Beers at Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide.

Essay by anujnsehgalUniversity, Master'sA+, November 2003

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Ogilvy & Mather first rose to prominence in 1950 with its eye-patched "Hathaway Man," an advertising tool for dress shirts that ran for the next 25 years. Ogilvy's other initial ads were for Rolls-Royce and Schweppes. Founder David Ogilvy believed that effective advertising created an indelible image of the product in consumers' minds and that campaigns should always be intelligent, stylish and "first class". David Ogilvy became an industry legend -- his book, Ogilvy on Advertising, became an advertising textbook -- and under his leadership the agency became one of the stars of the advertising world. Ogilvy eventually merged with its former parent company, the British group Mather & Crowther. Over time, Ogilvy came to pride itself as "the most local of the internationals, the most international of the locals". The Ogilvy offices represented four core disciplines: sales promotion, public relations, advertising and direct marketing.

In 1988, Ogilvy was ranked the sixth-largest advertising firm in the world.

Because of the stock market crash in 1987, O&M suffered a huge blow in the advertising market because it was too slow to make adjustments. In 1989, WPP Group Plc, a leading marketing services company, acquired Ogilvy and Mather for $864 million. By 1991, Ogilvy had 270 offices in four regions. By this time, Ogilvy was taking huge losses and was losing clients regularly. In 1992, WPP brought in Charlotte Beers as CEO.

Charlotte Beers' aim as the CEO

Charlotte Beers grew up in Texas, where she began her career as a research analyst for Mars Company. She then moved to Chicago as an account executive with J. Walter Thompson (pg. 5). After cultivating success, she rose quickly to senior vice president for Client Services. Beers was known for her passionate interest in the philosophy of marketing. In 1979, Beers became the COO...