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.
This post was originally compiled by Laura Stampler.
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 for popularising 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.
Jane Maas was a prominent copywriter at Ogilvy in the '60s. She is also known for creating the 'I love New York' slogan, while she was at Wells Rich Greene in the '70s.
Jane Trahey created the 'What becomes a legend most?' campaign for Blackglama mink in 1968. Richard Avedon photographed stars like Bette Davis wearing the fur.
the American Advertising Federation's 1969 Advertising Woman of the Year
In 1962, Paula Green wrote copy for the brilliantly counterintuitive Avis campaign, 'We try harder.' It was rare for a woman to take the lead on an auto account at the time.
Phyllis Robinson ran the copy department of DDB in 1949. She's responsible for 'You don't have to be Jewish to enjoy Levy's Jewish Rye Bread.'
Bernice Fitz-Gibbon, aka 'The Fabulous Fitz,' was responsible for numerous retail campaigns in the '60s, like this one for Macy's.
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