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The Advertising Century

Theodore F. MacManus

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Theodore F. MacManus
(1872-1940)
Theodore F. MacManus Inc., Detroit

Former newspaper reporter MacManus pioneered image ads after becoming copywriter for General Motors Corp.'s luxury cars. Playing on readers' imaginations, he shunned the popular reason-why style. His most enduring work, "The Penalty of Leadership" for Cadillac in 1915, ran only once and explained -- without specifically mentioning Cadillac -- why companies that honor "standards of excellence" become "targets of the envious." Sales surged and it was voted "The Greatest Ad of All Time" in 1945. The MacManus agency he founded in 1927 became MacManus, John & Adams in 1934, and later was folded into D'Arcy MacManus Benton & Bowles. Although his name initially disappeared, DMB&B's holding company later named itself MacManus Group.

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