The Advertising Century

Theodore L. Bates

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Theodore L. Bates
Ted Bates & Co., New York

A Chase National Bank ad manager, Bates took a pay cut to join George Batten's New York agency as a "menial." There he worked alongside fellow Yalies William Benton and Chester Bowles, who opened Benton & Bowles in '29. Bates joined them in 1935 and, in 1940, encouraged by clients Colgate-Palmolive and Continental Baking, opened Ted Bates & Co. and took on those accounts. With Rosser Reeves and a Unique Selling Proposition, "hard-sell" approach, Bates grew to $25 million in billings within 10 years. In 1948, convinced service businesses required shared motivation to succeed, Mr. Bates gave 14 partners equal shares in the agency. Bates ranked No. 5, billing $425 million, at his death.

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