Grey was started in an art studio by 18-year-old Lawrence Valenstein in 1917, who borrowed $100 from his mother to launch the business. The name is derived from the color of the studio's walls at the time.
Grey moved into the top 10 agency list in 1947 when billings hit $10 million. With Procter & Gamble Co. increasing its business over the past 40 years, Grey has been able to extend around the globe and explore new marketing disciplines. Some of Grey's famous work includes Greyhound Bus tagline, "Go Greyhound and leave the driving to us," as well as "Choosy mothers choose Jif," for the peanut butter brand. In the 1960s, Grey created the first global advertising campaign for Revlon, known as "Lilacs in the snow," which was shown in more than 20 countries.
The first major restructuring of the company came in 2000, when Grey Advertising established a holding company, Grey Global Group, and renamed its advertising division Grey Worldwide. The company now has eight main units sitting under the parent; they include media buying and planning unit MediaCom, Grey Healthcare, Grey Direct, Grey Interactive and public relations agency GCI Worldwide among others.