Dick Lord Calls It a Day

The Lord Group is losing its chairman but keeping his name on the door. Dick Lord, a copywriter and co-founder of the agency whose predecessors date to 1967, is retiring–and this time he means it.
Lord relinquished his role as chief executive to Jim Hood in 1996 and appeared to be retiring. At the urging of colleagues, however, he became a part-time consultant, retaining the chairman’s title. Last week he was looking forward to life after 46 years in the ad business.
“I’m going to fish, golf and breathe, and see how this sedentary life sits,” said Lord, 73, speaking from his home on Long Island.
Lord, whom colleagues described as down-to-earth and personable, is writing a novel that incorporates his experiences in advertising. The working title: Mirror Mirror.
Lord began his career as a junior copywriter at Cunningham & Walsh and worked for Young & Rubicam, Benton & Bowles and Warwick & Legler before co-founding his own shop. Lord, Geller, Federico, Einstein created memorable ads for the likes of Tiffany, Steinway pianos and IBM, for which it developed the Charlie Chaplin campaign.
Arguably, Lord’s biggest mark came in 1988. Unhappy under the new ownership of the WPP Group, he led a revolt that gave birth to the new Lord Einstein O’Neill & Partners. The abrupt exit spurred a legal battle later settled out of court, a decision Lord now calls “my one big mistake.”
The Lord Group, jointly owned by Y&R and Dentsu, claims more than $300 million in billings and clients such as Bell Atlantic and The Wiz. With its top management in place, the agency will not name another chairman.