Phil Joanou, the former CEO of Interpublic Group’s Dailey & Associates, died Nov. 20 of complications resulting from cancer. The Los Angeles adman, who was also known as the impetus behind The Partnership for a Drug-Free America, was 77.
After Joanou retired in 1994, he moved to Manhattan to study painting and his work was exhibited in galleries across the U.S. and in Europe.
The Phoenix native spent his ad career in Southern California, working at agencies like Grey Advertising and Doyle Dane Bernbach. In the early '70s, Joanou joined Dailey and led the agency for over 20 years. During his tenure, Dailey added accounts like Lawry’s Foods, Great Western Bank, Gallo Winery, the Southern California Ford Dealers, Hilton Hotels, Hunt-Wesson Foods and Honda Motorcycles. Joanou also served as a consultant to the presidential campaigns for Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan.
“Phil was the smartest, most insightful, funniest and most creative person I’ve ever worked with,” said Brian Morris, a longtime Dailey employee and a successor to the CEO role there. “In addition to building a great company, any advertising person could only hope to come up with an idea as impactful and as effective as The Partnership for a Drug-Free America.”
Joanou is survived by his wife of more than 50 years Michelle and his four children, Janet Weiner, Phillip Joanou Jr., Jennifer Frank, Cathy Clifford and 10 grandchildren. Joanou’s namesake son is a film director known for work like the U2 documentary Rattle and Hum.
The family has asked that donations in honor of Joanou be directed to www.drugfree.org.