Jan. 16 at age 44
One of the architects of McDonald's dramatic turnaround, Charlie Bell stepped down from the president-CEO post in November 2004 to fight colorectal cancer. The illness took his life eight weeks later. Mr. Bell rose to CEO of McDonald's Corp. in April 2004 after the sudden death of his mentor, Chairman-CEO Jim Cantalupo.
Together they engineered a comeback that won McDonald's the title of Advertising Age's Marketer of the Year for 2004. In one of the hallmarks of that turnaround, Mr. Bell asserted that operations and marketing must work together as McDonald's developed its "Plan to Win" program.
April 4 at age 58
Elizabeth Crow started her magazine career as an editorial assistant and climbed to top editorial positions at several leading publishers. Ms. Crow died April 4 after being diagnosed with cancer; since March 2004. She had been VP-editorial director of Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports. From her start as an editorial assistant at The New Yorker, Ms. Crow ascended to top editor roles at New York Magazine; Gruner & Jahr's Parents, where she won a National Magazine Award; and Mademoiselle. She rose to CEO at Gruner & Jahr USA Publishing, and also held high-level posts at Primedia and Rodale.
Joe R. Eisaman
Oct. 30 at age 81
Joe R. Eisaman founded Los Angeles agency Eisaman, Johns & Law in 1948. The agency's clients over the years included Pennzoil Motor Oil. Mr. Eisaman, who died Oct. 30 of cancer, held strong beliefs about the advertising business, writing letters to the editor in Advertising Age such as one chiding local radio stations for airing untrue claims and once telling a reporter he dismissed a popular actress looking to star in a Price Pfister ad because he thought success came from emphasizing the product. Mr. Eisaman's agency expanded with offices in Chicago, Detroit and Houston, and in 1996 was acquired by Lois/USA, creating Lois/EJL.
John Elliott Jr.
Oct. 29 at age 84
David Ogilvy handed over the chairmanship of Ogilvy & Mather to John "Jock" Elliott Jr. in 1975. Mr. Elliott began his ad career as a copywriter at Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn. He moved into account management, distinguishing himself on that side of the agency business as he ran such major accounts as DuPont. Ogilvy & Mather hired Mr. Elliott in 1960 to win Shell Oil, which became the agency's biggest account at the time. He died Oct. 29 of a cerebral hemorrhage.
Nov. 17 at age 56
Geoffrey Frost, exec VP-chief marketing officer at Motorola and a marketing visionary, died suddenly Nov. 17. Mr. "Moto" developed a design-based marketing strategy that made the 77-year-old brand hip, particularly with one of Motorola's biggest successes in recent years, the sleek Razr cellular handset. But the influence of the innovative and charismatic Mr. Frost, who was in his mid-50s at the time of his death, was broader as his pursuit of marketing excellence evolved a collaborative agency relationship model centered on ideas and talent. He was earlier global director of advertising and brand communications at Nike.
John H. Johnson
Aug. 8 at age 87
John H. Johnson was born in poverty, the grandson of slaves, and went on to found the first major magazines aimed at an African-American readership. Mr. Johnson, publisher and chairman of Johnson Publishing Co., died Aug. 8 after an extended illness. In 1945, he launched Ebony and in 1951 started Jet. Hailed as the father of multicultural marketing, Mr. Johnson drove home the point to mainstream marketers that African-Americans were worth their attention and ad dollars. Among the many honors awarded to Mr. Johnson, he was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame in 2002.
Sept. 14 at age 73
Henry Kornhauser's career spanned the agency and client sides. Until a year ago, he was VP-creative services at Church & Dwight, creating an in-house ad unit for the package-goods marketer. In the 1990s, Mr. Kornhauser was chairman of New York agency Partners & Shevack, which was acquired in 1998 by Wolf Group, Toronto. He started his agency career as an account exec but later partnered with famed creative director Phil Dusenberry. His other agency ventures included Kornhauser & Calene; Clyne Dusenberry; and Dusenberry, Ruriani & Kornhauser. Mr. Kornhauser died Sept. 14 from myasthenia gravis.
March 31 at age 84
Poultry baron Frank Perdue, who died March 31 after a brief illness, was one of the first company CEOs to stand in front of cameras to hawk his own products. The tactic proved a huge success for the one-time family egg company, Perdue Farms, which grew into a $1.2 billion branded chicken business following more than 200 TV spots developed by Scali, McCabe, Sloves, New York. Mr. Perdue starred in the commercials drawling, "It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken." His son, Jim, succeeded Mr. Perdue as company chairman in 1991 and transitioned into the role of ad spokesman as well.
Oct. 26 at age 69
SSC&B provided the setting for a career that started in the mailroom and ended in the executive suite for Spencer Plavoukos. Mr. Plavoukos spent most of his career at the agency, starting in 1961 in the mailroom of Sullivan, Stauffer, Colwell & Bayles, New York. He was named chairman-CEO in 1985 of SSC&B:Lintas, by then a division of Interpublic Group of Cos., and retired in 1997 as worldwide president and chief operating officer of Ammirati Puris Lintas. Mr. Plavoukos died Oct. 26 of injuries suffered when he was hit by car while walking his dog.
Jan. 12 at age 65
Some of the most enduring advertising that spanned several decades came from the efforts of Jay Schulberg. At Ogilvy & Mather, Mr. Schulberg was credited with enlisting Karl Malden's TV detective persona for American Express Co., with ads themed "Don't leave home without it." Mr. Schulberg, who died Jan. 12 from pancreatic cancer, rose to creative chief at Ogilvy. He moved to Bozell in 1987, and as chief creative officer, started smearing milk mustaches on celebrities in a campaign that's still going strong for the processors initiative now known as MilkPEP.