SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- Rance Crain, president of Crain Communications and editor in chief of Advertising Age, was inducted into the Direct Marketing Association Hall of Fame today during its 2010 Conference and Exhibition.
Honored for his contributions to the advertising and marketing world, Mr. Crain began his career as a reporter for Advertising Age and was made editorial director of Crain Communications in 1971. Two years later he was named president of the company and he would eventually go on to launch four of Crain's 31 titles, including Pensions & Investments; Crain's Chicago Business; Crain's New York Business; and Electronic Media.
In his acceptance speech Mr. Crain said: "I humbly accept your recognition of me and publications Advertising Age and BtoB magazine and our efforts to report on direct marketing as part of mainstream marketing. As far as I'm concerned some of the smartest and most sophisticated work is being done by direct marketers. If and when we close the gap and achieve the holy grail of wasteless advertising, or at least knowing what half is being wasted, it will be through the efforts of direct marketers."
Mr. Crain was inducted by fellow Hall of Fame member and founder of WPP direct-marketing shop Wunderman, Lester Wunderman . In his induction speech Mr. Wunderman spoke about the common experiences he and Mr. Crain shared in the culinary arts that would eventually lead them to their future career paths. When serving in the Air Force, Mr. Crain was a cook and before he founded his agency Mr. Wunderman worked as a sub-chef in a seaport fishing village in the Basque area of Spain. Fortunately for their respective fields neither of them turned out to be master chefs.
"I did some research and was able to locate and call some of his ex-military comrades, and as a result of their opinions about his culinary talents, I better understood why he changed professions and went on to become a world-renowned journalist," Mr. Wunderman said, adding that the residents in the town where he was once a cook were also all too pleased when he decided to leave and pursue a non-culinary career. "Today, Rance Crain has become a master chef of another sort. He excels at finding and reporting the important news of our industry, its people and its future trends. His reporting and editing keeps us aware of the people, campaigns, ideas and happenings of the advertising industry we work in now and he frequently takes us into what is yet to come."
Mr. Wunderman added: "Beyond all that, Rance Crain is a vigorous champion and proponent of ethics in our industry. While his style is non-confrontational he is indefatigable and passionate about getting the facts right."
Mr. Crain was inducted alongside Howard Draft, chairman of DraftFCB. Mr. Draft was inducted by Pam El, State Farm's VP-marketing.
Past inductees of the DMA Hall of Fame, which was founded in 1978, include David Ogilvy, founder of Ogilvy & Mather; Shelly Lazarus, chairman, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide; Eddie Bauer, founder of Eddie Bauer Sport Shop and Eddie Bauer Inc.; Robert Rodale, head of Rodale Press; Stan Rapp, co-founder of Rapp Collins; Mr. Wunderman and Leon L. Bean, founder of the L.L. Bean catalog.