The Advertising Century

John E. Kennedy

Published on .

John E. Kennedy
Lord & Thomas, Chicago

While early admen Charles Bates and John E. Powers were committed to reason-why advertising, Canadian-born Kennedy exploited this approach to its fullest. In 1904, Kennedy's definition of advertising: "Salesmanship in print," impressed Albert Lasker, as did Kennedy's graphically distinctive ads with no-nonsense, hard-hitting copy. Named L&T's chief copywriter, Kennedy set out to learn everything about his clients' businesses, develop selling points and test copy. Lasker published his ideas in "The Booklet of Advertising Tests," sent copies to business prospects and based L&T's creative work on his philosophy. But Kennedy worked too slowly for Lasker; he left in 1906 to be a free-lance writer.