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The Advertising Century

Bruce Barton

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Bruce Barton
(1886-1967)
Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn, New York

The future founder of BBDO first popularized the Harvard Classics "Five-Foot" bookshelf with his direct-response copy, discovered artist Norman Rockwell, wrote editorials for Redbook and, during World War I, worked on United War Work campaigns with copywriters Roy Durstine and Alex Osborn. They opened their ad agency in 1918, merging it in 1928 with George Batten Co. BBDO hired college grads capable of writing hard-hitting copy. Barton's 1925 best-seller, "The Man Nobody Knows," portraying Jesus Christ as salesman/adman, led to newspaper columns, other books and a political career. After surviving a sensational blackmail scandal, Barton returned to BBDO in 1940 to finish his career.

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