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MCGRAW-HILL'S MAN-IN-CHAIR AD BREAKS INTO '90S

By Published on .

The man in the chair is back.

Nearly 40 years after an award-winning campaign that featured a grumpy man in a bow tie extolling the power of business-to-business advertising, McGraw-Hill is reviving it.

A set of updated ads from Adler Boschetto Peebles & Partners, New York, has two executions: a younger man sitting in a modern office chair and an Asian-American woman standing. They will appear in domestic and international editions of Business Week and 17 of the company's other magazines, as well as in a direct mail effort to the 125 leading business-to-business agencies worldwide.

Copy remains the same as the original, with the subject stating: "I don't know who you are. I don't know your company. I don't know your company's products .*.*." It ends with a tagline urging companies to advertise in business media.

FIRST APPEARED IN '58

The original ad appeared in 1958, and was named one of the top 10 ads of the year by Advertising Age. It was created by Henry Slesar of Fuller & Smith & Ross. Gil Morris, then an account supervisor with the agency, was the first "man in the chair."

The campaign-and ad-was updated with new models in 1968 and 1979, and ultimately was translated into French, Russian, German, Italian and Chinese.

The new campaign extols the virtues of business-to-business advertising rather than simply concentrating on publications, as the old ads did.

President Harold W. McGraw said the new creative "more accurately reflects our customer and employee sets, and speaks to our larger global growth positioning."

At the outset of the original campaign, McGraw-Hill had revenues of $96.2 million and its publications group-then the biggest business-to-business publisher in the world-contributed the lion's share of net profits of $7.3 million.

By 1995, the diversified company had total revenue of $2.9 billion with financial services such as Standard & Poor's now contributing the bulk of profits.

MORE CHANGES AHEAD

More changes in the company's portfolio are expected. McGraw-Hill is awaiting federal approval of a deal to buy the higher-education division of Times Mirror Co. while divesting its Shepard's legal publishing division.

Earlier this year, McGraw-Hill was an unsuccessful suitor for mutual funds company Van Kampen American Capital.

McGraw-Hill has told Wall Street analysts it's on the prowl for other deals that will involve "other opportunities in passive asset management and joint ventures," a spokesman said.

The company also entered the consumer market this fall via "edutainment" CD-ROMs.M

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