The Advertising Century

Charlotte Beers

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Charlotte Beers
(1935- )
J. Walter Thompson Co., New York

A brilliant strategic thinker, Beers became the world's highest-ranked woman in advertising. The Texas native joined J. Walter Thompson Co.'s client services echelon in 1969 following a noteworthy performance as group product manager for Uncle Ben's. JWT in 1973 named her a senior VP, the first female to achieve that rank at the agency. In 1979, Beers became the ailing Tatham-Laird & Kudner's chief operating officer, then its CEO. She tripled billings to $325 million and merged with Europe's RSCG to create what is now Euro RSCG Tatham. Her performance led WPP Group to hire her away in April 1992, naming her chairman-CEO Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide and, in 1999, chairman of JWT. She recently rejoined JWT as chairman.

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