The Advertising Century

Stanley Resor and Helen Lansdowne Resor

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Stanley Resor and Helen Lansdowne Resor
(1879-1964) and (1886-1964)
J. Walter Thompson Co., New York

Stanley Resor, the first major agency leader to boast a college degree (Yale), fashioned campaigns and brand names after lifestyles of the well-to-do. After hiring copywriter Helen Lansdowne in 1907 while at a small Cincinnati agency, Resor opened JWT's Cincinnati office with her the next year. When JWT became Procter & Gamble's first outside agency, Lansdowne became the first woman to "present" ads to P&G's board. In 1916, on being transferred to New York, Resor and his associates bought out Commodore Thompson for $500,000 and re-energized the agency. Married in 1917, the Resors were running the agency by 1924. He nominally handled clients and administration, she -- considered "the greatest copywriter of her generation" -- supervised creative and recruited women into advertising. Her Woodbury's facial soap ads ("The skin you love to touch") introduced sex appeal to ads. A founder of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, Resor led JWT to No. 1 status by 1927; its was the first shop to break $100 million in billings.