Marketing Author Bernice Kanner Dies

Contributed to Myriad Magazines, Newspaper, TV Shows

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NEW YORK ( -- Bernice Kanner, marketing columnist, editor and author who loomed large on Madison Avenue, died yesterday afternoon of an aneurism.
Bernice Kanner
Bernice Kanner Credit: Joel Markman

'Vim and vigor'
A consistent voice in the marketing world, Ms. Kanner was editor in chief of monthly magazine WomensBiz.US, and author of several books, including 1999's "The 100 Best TV Commercials and Why They Worked." She was featured in dozens of publications, such as The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, and she made appearances on TV programs such as "Dateline" and "Inside Edition."

"She had a lot of vim and vigor," said Elaine Taylor-Gorden, president, publisher and founder of Womensbiz.US. "She was very passionate and very funny. She had the best sense of humor I've encountered in my lifetime."

Consulting and writing
Ms. Kanner was also a consultant with Bloomberg, a frequent contributor to newspapers and magazines, and made frequent appearances as a marketing expert on "CBS Morning News," ABC, ESPN's "Business Times" and others.

A prolific writer, Ms. Kanner authored 2004's "Pocket Power: How to Reach the Hearts and Minds of Today's Most Coveted Consumer --Women" and "The Super Bowl of Advertising: How Commercials Won the Game," published in 2003. She is also the author of "Lies My Parents Told Me," published in 1996.

In 1995 Ms. Kanner published "Are You Normal?" which was launched on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and has been translated and sold in countries from Brazil to China. The first in a series, it has led to "Are You Normal About Money?" "Are You Normal About Sex, Love and Relationships?" and, most recently, "When it Comes to Guys, What's Normal?"

'On Madison Avenue'
But she may be best known for writing, for 13 years until 1994, "On Madison Avenue," a weekly marketing column for New York Magazine, where she was also a senior editor. Ms. Kanner got her start covering marketing as a senior editor at Advertising Age, and during her career was a columnist for the New York Daily News and a writer at JWT.

A strong advocate of literacy, Ms. Kanner was the editorial director of the 14-title launch of the Oshkosh B'Gosh children's book program, which was endorsed by the National Center for Family Literacy in October 1998, and was a volunteer for Literacy Partners, which teaches adults how to read. Ms. Kanner was very interested in giving back, said Ms. Taylor-Gordon, and was on the board of the New York Girl Scouts. She obtained an M.A. in English literature from Harpur College, and is the only three-time winner of the Saatchi & Saatchi Annual Journalism Award.

Ms. Kanner is survived by her husband, David Cuming, and two children, Elisabeth and Andrew. A private service will be held at the family's home in Bridgewater, Conn.
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