Ad Age Global Correspondent Dagmar Mussey Dies at 86

Grand Dame of German Ad Journalists Leaves Bylines Spanning 30 Years

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Dagmar Mussey, a Duesseldorf-based journalist who was Advertising Age's correspondent in Germany for many years, died on March 14. She was 86.

Dagmar Mussey
Dagmar Mussey

Ms. Mussey started writing for Ad Age in 1977, and had regular bylines spanning 30 years, initially filing stories by telex, then fax and finally computer, as Germany became the biggest ad market in Europe. There was nothing she loved better than breaking news. No one pursued a story with more vigor than Dagmar, or was more respected—and sometimes feared--for her thorough reporting.

Dagmar came to Ad Age through her late husband Barrows, an American who settled in Germany after World War II and became a journalist and translator. He was best known as Henry Hay, the name under which he performed as a young magician. Dagmar, a talented cook whose culinary exploits included expertise in clay-pot cooking, published her own cookbooks under the pen name Henrietta Hay.

Dagmar, always in one of the big hats she was known for, was there as Ad Age added international products through the years. She became an enthusiastic contributor to the newsletter Euromarketing in 1986, Ad Age International magazine in 1992 and, in 1995, the Daily World Wire. In 1997, Ad Age brought Dagmar to London to fete her with a 20th anniversary party.

By then she was a grande dame in the advertising world, once telling the much-younger head of a major multinational marketer, as they both arrived to judge an awards show, to park her car for her because it was hard to see the lines in the building's dark garage.

She knew all Germany's top marketers, ad agency and media executives, and helped Ad Age cover an era of agency mega-mergers and acquisitions that transformed an industry and led to today's holding companies.

Her last three Ad Age bylines from Germany were in 2007, when she covered Vogue's launch as a weekly, McDonald's McCafe rollout, and the licensing frenzy over Knut, the Berlin Zoo's cutest baby polar bear. After that , she continued to help Ad Age 's DataCenter compile advertiser rankings.

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