Lazarus Makes The Grade

“I’m not going to go there,” laughs Shelly Lazarus when asked whether she considers herself the Carly Fiorina of advertising.

For the fifth year in a row, Lazarus, Ogilvy & Mather’s president and CEO, has made Fortune’s list of the 50 most powerful women in business. Fiorina, chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard, has topped the list since its inception in 1998. Martha Stewart, the unlucky No. 13 in 2001, tumbled off the list entirely this year.

Anyway, as Casey Kasem might say, Lazarus comes in at No. 14 with a bullet. Still, she’s dropped a few notches from 2001, when she was No. 11. She’s also been as high as No. 4. “It’s a tough year for advertising. That’s why Shelly dropped slightly,” says Pattie Sellers, a Fortune senior writer. “Ogilvy is one of the best agencies in America. We did consider a number of women in advertis ing, but no others made it because they’re just not running businesses that are big enough or healthy enough to make the list.”

Charlotte Beers, Nina DiSesa, and Linda Srere are the three other advertising women who have made the list over the years.

For her part, Lazarus is somewhat ambivalent about the honor. “In a way, I’m thrilled that there are 50 women in such prominent positions, and the list is a nice acknowledgment of pioneers,” she says. “But at the same time I think we’re coming to the day when noting the gender of a powerful person in business will be a thing of the past.”