Jock Elliott, Chairman Emeritus of Ogilvy & Mather, Dies
Jock Elliott, Chairman Emeritus of Ogilvy & Mather, Dies
Monday - Oct 31, 2005
Televisionpoint.com Team John Elliott, Jr., a prominent advertising executive, civic leader and collector, died Saturday, October 29, at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mt. Kisco, New York. He was 84 years old.
The cause of death was a cerebral hemorrhage, his wife, Eleanor Thomas Elliott, said.
Known as Jock, Mr. Elliott succeeded the legendary David Ogilvy as head of the advertising agency Mr. Ogilvy founded. Under his leadership Ogilvy & Mather landed such prestigious accounts as Shell Oil, IBM and American Express and more than tripled its billings to $2 billion. When he retired, the New York Times called Mr. Elliott "a statesman of the advertising business."
Mr. Elliott's first job in advertising was as a copywriter with Batten, Barton, Durstine and Osborn. He joined Ogilvy in 1960 to run the newly acquired Shell Oil account. Droll and self-deprecating, Mr. Elliott was much in demand as a speaker at advertising industry events. Looking back on his early days as a copywriter, he once said, "I was pretty good, but not good enough. I could execute campaigns but I never came up with the big ideas, so I went into a less demanding kind of work: I became an account man. Ever since, I have stood in awe of people who could come up with big campaign ideas."
Mr. Elliott was also an internationally recognized bibliophile with a collection of some three thousand first editions about Christmas and its customs. These include Charles Dickens's reading copy of A Christmas Carol, the first newspaper printing of A Visit from St. Nicholas (better known as The Night Before Christmas), and the seventeenth-century volume in which the words "Merry" and "Christmas" first appeared together. His collection formed the basis of Mr. Elliott's book, Inventing Christmas: How Our Holiday Came to Be, published in 2003.
Born in New York in 1921, the son of John and Audrey Osborn Elliott, Mr. Elliott was educated at The Browning School, St. Paul's School and Harvard. He was a captain in the Marine Corps in World War II and served on the battleship Pennsylvania in numerous engagements, including the Battle of Leyte Gulf. He rose to the rank of major.
A lifetime board member of the Wildlife Conservation Society and WNET, Channel 13, Mr. Elliott was active in a number of other institutions. He served as Chairman of the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the Advertising Council, and was elected to the Advertising Hall of Fame.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his brother, Osborn Elliott, of New York, and numerous nephews and nieces. A funeral will be held at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street on Wednesday, November 2, at 3 p.m.
Advertising Honors Jock Elliot: Nomination to the Advertising Hall of Fame 1983 Jock Elliott stands for the best in advertising. He has occupied a leadership position for over thirty years in the industry. First with BBDO, and then with Ogilvy & Mather, he has made all of us much prouder of our business. He has been both a very creative person and the quintessential professional. He started as a copywriter, became an account person, and served with distinction in agency management.
Last year he said (and this is widely quoted in the agency world today): "Big Ideas are so hard to recognize, so fragile, so easy to kill. Don't forget that, all of you who don't have them."
A partial listing of Jock's accomplishments follows:
MILESTONES Born in New York City, 1921 The Browning School St. Paul's School, Class of 1938 Harvard, Class of 1942 U.S. Marine Corps 1942–45. Thirteen engagements, final rank: Major BBDO 1945-60. Copywriter to Management Supervisor. Youngest Director. Ogilvy & Mather, joined 1960. Chairman, U.S. Company 1965–75. During this period, O&M's domestic billings rose from $84,000,000 to $252,000,000, or 198 percent—one of the fastest growing agencies in the U.S. Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather International 1975-82. During this period, the agency's billings rose from $659,000,000 to $2,029,400,000, or 208 percent—one of the fastest growing major agencies in the world. Chairman Emeritus 1982–2005
SERVICE TO ADVERTISING INDUSTRY Director, Advertising Research Foundation Director, American Advertising Federation; Chairman, AAF Committee Public Relations and Government Affairs Director, American Association of Advertising Agencies; Chairman 1974-75; former Chairman, Committee Government Relations; helped found and was the first Chairman of Special Committee Equal Employment Opportunities in Agencies Director, Advertising Council; Chairman, various committees; Vice Chairman, Ad Council Spokesman for advertising from countless platforms worldwide, including hearings of U.S. Senate and Federal Trade Commission, and lectures at such educational institutions as Brown, Catawba, U. Chicago, Columbia, Harvard, Kenyon, U. Nevada, Pace, U. Pennsylvania, Princeton, U. Virginia Helped found and raised $800,000 for John H. Crichton Fund Member and twice Chairman, AAF Hall of Fame Council of Judges
SERVICE TO COMMUNITY Trustee and President, Alumni Association of The Browning School Trustee, St. Paul's School Trustee, St. Peter's School Director, Park Association of New York City Trustee, Vice President, Museum City of New York Manager, Episcopal Mission Society Chairman, Red Cross Greater New York Chairman, Scottish National Trust Golden Jubilee Foundation (U.S.A.) Trustee, International House Trustee, Executive Committee, Wildlife Conservation Society Overseer, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather Public Responsibility Committee The main contribution to these and dozens of other public service causes with which he was not formally affiliated was his agency's (and his own) creative expertise in preparing advertising, literature, and public relations materials.
RECOGNITION For years elected one of the most influential advertising people in the country in the U.S. News and World Report's "poll of peers." In 1982, the others elected were Ed Ney, Len Matthews, and Bill Bernbach.
Honored by such diverse organizations as United Jewish Appeal - Federal Jewish Philanthropy, American Scottish Foundation (Wallace Award), University of Nevada, American Jewish Committee, the Red Cross, Woodrow Wilson Foundation.
On retirement as Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather International in February 1982, the New York Times referred to him as "a statesman in the advertising industry."
Jock has done himself, his company, and our industry proud.
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