In September of 1948, David Ogilvy founded an agency in New York. He would go on to be one of the most notable of the Mad Men, responsible for groundbreaking advertising for brands including Rolls Royce, Hathaway, Schweppes and others and his shop has ballooned over the years to 131 offices in 93 countries.
This year, his namesake agency celebrates 75 years of advertising, and it brought back some people who worked with David Ogilvy to be part of the party.
The agency changed names a number of times before landing on its single moniker. It began as Hewitt, Ogilvy, Benson, & Mather, then later Ogilvy, Benson & Mather, Ogilvy Group, Ogilvy & Mather, and finally in 2018, just Ogilvy. The agency has stayed true to David Ogilvy’s legacy, a man who literally wrote the book on advertising, Ogilvy on Advertising.
For its 75th anniversary, Ogilvy began hosting a series of events around the world dubbed a “Reunion of Giants”—a bringing together talent and clients, past and present, who have contributed to the agency’s legacy. The agency even made a film to celebrate 75 years.
“We want this moment to not only be a celebration of our company’s achievements but also a celebration of the remarkable individuals who have contributed to Ogilvy’s success over the years,” said Devika Bulchandani, global CEO of Ogilvy. “Our people, our alumni and our clients are the true giants in our story. The events we started hosting around the world, our ‘Reunion of Giants,’ are meant to be a tribute to their invaluable contributions.”
Among the alumni who joined the New York office were four people who had the opportunity to work with David Ogilvy: Shelly Lazarus, who joined in 1971 and served as CEO and chairman from 1996-2008 before becoming chairman emeritus; Ken Roman, who joined Ogilvy in 1963 and served as CEO and chairman from 1985 to 1989; Brendan Ryan, former chairman of FCB Worldwide, who spent 15 years at Ogilvy principally leading efforts on the American Express; and Elaine Reiss, who held various roles in the agency’s legal department from 1967 to 1992, culminating as general counsel.
“We have a responsibility to David Ogilvy to make sure that the next 75 are even better than the last one,” said Liz Taylor, global chief creative officer at Ogilvy.