PEGGY WAS NOT ALONE: These Famous Ads Were Created By Women In The Mad Men Era

real women of mad men

Photo: BI / AMC

While men certainly made up most of the advertisers on Madison Avenue in the 1960s, some of the most famous campaigns from the “Mad Men” era of advertising were actually created by female copywriters. In real life, Peggy Olson, the underappreciated copywriter on “Mad Men,” would have been less lonely than her TV character.Many of the ads were for soaps and beauty products, but some were for cars and other products that did not fall into the traditionally female beauty and domestic categories.

And one of the first ads that used sex appeal as a selling device—for Woodbury Facial Soap—was created by Helen Lansdowne Resor at JWT in 1910.

Also in this series:

  • Meet Ginny Bahr: She’s Worked At Ad Agency JWT Since 1951
  • Here’s How Advertising Agencies Really Recruited Women In 1963.

Shirley Polykoff of Foote, Cone & Belding created this famous Clairol campaign in 1959.

Mary Wells' eponymous agency, Wells Rich Greene, made this quintessentially sexist ad for the former National Airlines in 1971.

Helen Lansdowne Resor began as a copywriter at JWT in 1907. In 1910, she was responsible popularizing the use of sex appeal for Woodbury Facial Soap.

Resor's Women's Editorial Board at JWT created the Pond's Cold Cream campaign, introducing testimonials to American ad culture.

the American Advertising Federation's 1969 Advertising Woman of the Year

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