NEW YORK Diane Rothschild, who helped create much-lauded ad campaigns for Volkswagen, J&B and Land Rover during a 40-year career, died on April 3 at her home in Manhattan after a five-year battle with lung cancer.
She was 63.
A copywriter by trade, she began her ad career in 1969 at Doyle Dane Bernbach and rose through the ranks to become a creative director and then serve on the agency's New York board of directors.
Rothschild became the fourth woman to be inducted into the One Club Hall of Fame in October 2005.
In 1986, she and her DDB creative partner, Roy Grace, left the agency to start Grace & Rothschild in New York. That shop launched the first campaign for Land Rover and Range Rover, which inaugurated the SUV category. The introductions became a Harvard Business School case study.
One print ad showed four pictures of a white Range Rover that started out caked in mud and after being cleaned was scratch and dent free. The copy read: "Everything you hear about a Range Rover is true."
Another ad showed a Range Rover driving through a stream. The copy read: "We brake for fish."
"Her five-foot 2-inch frame disguised her creative power and strength," said Michael Jeary, a former partner at Della Femina Jeary & Partners. Rothschild
joined the shop in 2000, and it became Della Femina Rothschild Jeary + Partners.
"She was one of the giants of our industry," Jeary added. "She and her work will always be remembered. I thank the day I was able to work with her."
After being diagnosed with lung cancer, Rothschild joined the board of the Lung Cancer Alliance, which promotes research about and early detection of the disease.
Two years ago, she helped create a campaign for the Lung Cancer Alliance that warned of the rising incidence of the disease among non-smokers. (Rothschild had been a smoker until just before her diagnosis.)
Artist Chuck Close, Rothschild's friend for 25 years, said, "She was as compassionate and thoughtful and caring a person as anyone I've ever known. She was one of my only Republican friends. If there's such a thing as a compassionate conservative, she was one because she really cared about people."
Close added that he admired the way Rothschild focused her passion and creative skills in advertising toward awareness about lung-cancer and the risks of smoking.
Rothschild was born in New York and grew up in the Fresh Meadows section of the borough of Queens.
She is survived by her husband, Alan Pando, of New York, and a daughter, Ali Spencer, of Sag Harbor, N.Y.
A memorial service is being planned in Manhattan for some time within the next few weeks, Jeary said.