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It was the Jazz Age, the exuberant Roaring '20s, when two ambitious advertising agencies opened their doors half a continent apart.

In Omaha, young Leo Bozell and Morris Jacobs created a shop to serve utility and financial services accounts.

In New York a few years later, on the brink of the Great Depression, Otis Kenyon and Henry Eckhardt formed an agency that would become a major force in the auto industry.

For the next six decades, each agency honed its individual strengths. Bozell & Jacobs grew steadily, developing offices across the nation and building early clients such as Mutual of Omaha and Boys Town into household names. K&E developed a reputation for research expertise and effective use of the growing broadcast media, serving accounts like Ford, Chrysler, RCA, Pepsi and Kellogg.

Then, a decade ago, the two merged to complement each other and form a powerhouse of creativity and broad-based resources with a knack for building brands and expanding via acquisition.

This year, the agency celebrates its diamond anniversary as a marketing and communications giant, with total annual worldwide billings topping $3 billion. This commemorative section chronicles the trailblazing milestones that marked its growth and rise to prominence, and the advertising it created along the way.

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