Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn, New York
Ben Duffy's new-business skills brought BBDO to worldwide influence and his enthusiasm for TV after World War II led the agency to place 80% of its media budgets into the new medium, thus modernizing the agency business. A high school dropout from Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen, Duffy went from the mailroom to president of BBDO in 1946. A skilled radio buyer, the charismatic leader virtually turned his agency into a TV production studio in creating TV's "golden age" offerings, linking them to clients seven nights a week. Billings soared from $50 million to $200 million during Duffy's decade as president. His close ties to Dwight Eisenhower led BBDO to assist in Ike's '52 and '56 presidential campaigns.