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[newtown, pa.] Walter Weir, noted ad agency executive, long-time Advertising Age columnist/contributor and college professor of advertising, died here March 9 of heart failure. He was 86 years old.

Mr. Weir began his advertising career as a mailboy at N.W. Ayer & Son, Philadelphia, in 1926. A poet and short story writer, he quickly began writing catchy ad copy, such as an ad for Cannon towels that ran in The New Yorker and featured the character "elephantine" Karl C. Kraft, who was "Quite as large before as aft/Liked a towel to dry his torso/Of convenient size or more so."

By the mid-1940s, Mr. Weir had been a member of 11 agency management teams, including Brown & Tarcher, Fletcher & Ellis, Lord & Thomas and J.M. Mathes, all New York. In 1945, he launched his own agency, which merged with Donahue & Coe in 1952. Under his leadership it tripled ad revenues over the next decade.

Mr. Weir retired briefly to the Caribbean in 1979, but returned stateside to teach at the University of Tennessee and Temple University and to write. Author of The Creative Man's Corner column in Ad Age, he also wrote three books on advertising, including "Truth in Advertising & Other Heresies" and "On the Writing of Advertising."

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