THROUGH THE YEARS WITH BURNETT

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1935- Leo Burnett resigns as VP of Erwin, Wasey & Co., then Chicago's largest ad agency, to open his own shop, setting up temporary quarters Aug. 5 in the Palmer House hotel, then moving to the London Guarantee Building. Initial clients: Realsilk Hosiery, Hoover and Minnesota Valley Canning Co. Leo is president and treasurer of the agency.

1936-Total billings for the first year are $600,000-$300,000 below projections.

1938-The agency gains six new clients, including Pure Oil Co. (which later merges with Union Oil Co.) and Brown Shoe Co., which will remain a client for 35 years.

1939-The agency expands, taking over a full floor of the London Guarantee Building, 360 N. Michigan Ave., and lands its first $1 million-plus account, the American Meat Institute, the next year.

1941-The agency opens an office in New York's Rockefeller Center.

1942-Burnett wins the Santa Fe Railway account, later creating Chico, a Navajo boy who becomes the railroad's mascot and a virtual second trademark. Leo Burnett is elected a director of the War Advertising Council, forerunner of today's Advertising Council. The agency's first assignment for the war effort is to spearhead the Scrap Drive.

1944-Burnett lands Pillsbury Mills' Farina account, and within a few months the agency also is awarded several baking mix products from the company.

1945-Billings exceed $7 million, and company stock is made available to employees. Bill Wedell joins the agency as head of the Broadcast Department and is charged with bridging the gap between radio and early TV.

1947-Billings pass the $10 million mark, and the agency ranks 26th in Advertising Age's U.S. agency listing.

1949-Kellogg joins the client list, assigning the agency its Corn Soya account. The first Burnett-produced TV show, "At Our House," is launched for Hoover.

1950-Procter & Gamble becomes a client, assigning the agency a PR campaign to inform the public about P&G's research and testing capabilities. Also, Minnesota Valley Canning pays tribute to its Burnett-created advertising by changing the company name to Green Giant.

1951-Tony the Tiger is created to growl about Kellogg's Frosted Flakes.

1952-The agency establishes its first international office, in Canada, primarily at Kellogg's request.

1953-Burnett gets its first product assignment from P&G-Lava soap.

1954-The Marlboro account from Philip Morris is won by the agency, now the eighth-largest in the U.S. with $50 million in billings and 540 employees.

1955-After 20 years, Leo Burnett gets his first promotion and is named chairman. The first Marlboro man, a cowboy, appears in advertising, positioning the cigarette as having a strong, masculine flavor.

1956-The agency moves into Chicago's newest skyscraper, the Prudential Building, occupying five floors.

1957-Allstate Insurance joins the client list.

1958-The agency reaches $100 million in billings and reels in the Star-Kist account.

1961-Ed Thiele is named president of the agency, which adds the Schlitz beer and Union Carbide accounts during the year.

1962-Chrysler business (added in 1958) is lost, and the Detroit office is closed. The agency buys a small agency in London.

1965-United Airlines assigns its passenger business to the agency. Total billings reach $174 million, making Burnett the world's sixth-largest agency.

1967-Leo Burnett retires from active management, selling his stock control back to the agency and assuming the title founder-chairman. Phillip Schaff is named chairman-CEO. Burnett reestablishes a Detroit presence with the acquisition of the D.B. Brother agency, gaining Brother's Oldsmobile account in the process.

1968 -Morris the Cat debuts in advertising for Star-Kist's 9 Lives brand.

1969-The Dewars "Profile" campaign is created, with actor Jerry Orbach as the first subject. Ed Thiele becomes vice-chairman and Len Matthews is named president. Burnett purchases London Press Exchange's international agency network, with 24 offices in 19 countries.

1971-On June 7, after putting in a full day at the office, Leo Burnett, 79, dies at his suburban Chicago home.

1973-Leo Burnett Co. becomes the parent for Leo Burnett USA and Leo Burnett International.

1975-Billings hit $400 million as the agency ranks as the world's fourth-largest.

1978-Jack Kopp, CEO since 1976, is named chairman; billings reach $600 million.

1979-Pillsbury acquires Green Giant.

1981-Burnett wins the McDonald's account. The agency enters the Middle East, forming a joint venture with H&CC Sarl Advertising, with offices in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. Burnett also adds offices in Argentina, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Panama and Greece.

1984-John Kinsella becomes chairman-CEO of Leo Burnett Co. With U.S. billings of $1.116 billion, Burnett becomes the first domestic agency to exceed the $1 billion mark.

1985-Norm Muse becomes chairman of Leo Burnett Co., while John Kinsella retains the title CEO and adds president. The agency wins the 7UP and Diet 7UP business.

1986-Hall (Cap) Adams is named chairman-CEO and Rick Fizdale president-chief creative officer of Leo Burnett Co.

1988-Hallmark becomes a Burnett client. The agency wins an unprecedented three Gold Lions at the International Advertising Festival in Cannes.

1989-The agency moves into the new, 48-story Leo Burnett Building in downtown Chicago.

1991-Burnett gets the Miller Lite beer, Nintendo of America and Beef Industry Council accounts. The agency opens offices in Budapest, Prague and Warsaw.

1992-Fruit of the Loom joins the account list.

1994-New accounts include Arthur Andersen & Co., True Value Hardware Stores, Walt Disney World, Ameritech and J.M. Smucker. Also, Burnett opens offices in Shanghai and Beijing.

1995-Billings reach $1.868 billion worldwide. Burnett wins Coca-Cola Co. business-its Fruitopia drink. The agency enters the Russian market with the incorporation of Leo Burnett-Moradpour in Moscow.

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