Phil Geier on the Creation of Advertising

Before there was the hit TV show Mad Men, before Coca Cola was the real thing, before branding became a marketing buzzword, there was Phil “Deals” Geier. The story of how this visionary, who created the modern advertising holding company and brought The Interpublic Group from $500 million to $5.6 billion in revenues, is shared for the first time in SURVIVE TO THRIVE: Sustaining Yourself, Your Brand, and Your Business from Recession to Recovery. In addition to sound business wisdom, SURVIVE TO THRIVE reveals an insider’s take on the glamorous real world of 1960s and 70s advertising and features a veritable who’s who of mid-20th century luminaries.

The man who pioneered the holding-company concept, Philip H. Geier Jr., grew up in Cleveland during the Great Depression. The oldest of six boys, he earned the nickname “Deals” as a youth because of his business acumen. He got his first taste of adland while dating Joan Bennett (who would go on to marry Ted Kennedy), whose father was in the business. Mr. Geier started at McCann-Erickson in 1958 and in 2000 retired as chairman-CEO of Interpublic Group of Cos. after a 20-year run in that post. A onetime chairman of the Ad Council, he currently serves as chairman of the Geier Group, a New York-based marketing communications and venture-capital firm.

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