Leo Greenland, co-founder and former CEO of Smith/Greenland, died on June 4 in Manhattan due to complications from pneumonia. He was 91.
While Smith/Greenland, founded by Mr. Greenland and Martin L. Smith in 1958, wasn't one of the largest agencies, it did become a well-known New York agency, due to its unconventional and provocative campaigns.
One such campaign was created with the intention of convincing advertisers that Penthouse magazine subscribers actually do, in fact, read the articles. Another campaign that sparked controversy was for Johnnie Walker. It featured two women in bathing suits and a caption that read, "He loves my mind. And he drinks Johnnie Walker."
What Mr. Greenland was also well known for was his strong advocacy of truth in advertising. He began gaining public attention in the early 1970s when he openly criticized business practices occurring throughout the advertising industry as not being honest.
In an op-ed article written by Mr. Greenland in 1972, published in the New York Times, he praised consumer advocates referring to them as, "probably the best thing that 's happened to advertising in the last 20 years." He went on to explain that the function of such advocates was to "make ourselves more responsible, both to the consumer and the advertiser."
The agency's accounts included the Roosevelt Raceway, Citicorp, I. Rokeach & Sons, Ovaltine, Tootsie Rolls, and Johnnie Walker. Mr. Greenland was the CEO of Smith/Greenland until it ceased operations in 1994.
Mr. Greenland's first wife, Rita, died in 1991. He is survived by his second wife, Eileen; his two sons; his sister; four stepdaughters; two grandchildren; and numerous step-grandchildren.