Young & Rubicam

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Industry Integrated Marketing Communications
Founded Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA (1923)
Headquarters 3 Columbus Circle
New York City
Key people
David Sable, CEO
Peter Law-Gisiko, CFO
Tony Granger, CCO
Number of employees
16,000 (2008)
Parent WPP plc

Y&R (originally Young & Rubicam) is a marketing and communications company specializing in advertising, digital and social media, sales promotion, direct marketing and brand identity consulting. It is one of the world's largest advertising agencies. It is a member of WPP, the largest advertising group in the world.


In 1923, John Orr Young and Raymond Rubicam established a small advertising agency in Philadelphia. The company moved to New York in 1926 as a condition of securing a contract with the newly formed Jell-O company.[1] Soon the company moved into offices at 285 Madison Avenue, which remained the company's location for 87 years.[1]

During the 1960s, Y&R produced the first color television commercials. In the 1970s, under the leadership of Edward N. Ney as chief executive officer, Y&R expanded with the acquisition of Wunderman Ricotta & Kline in 1973, Cato Johnson in 1976, and Burson-Marsteller in 1979.[2] Throughout the 1980s, Y&R bought diverse firms like Landor Associates in corporate and brand identity. By the end of the decade there were nine companies formally owned.

Y&R became the highest-billing advertising agency in the United States in 1975 with billings recorded at US$477 million.[citation needed]

In the 1990s, Y&R was charged with bribery related to a Jamaican tourism account, and a partnership with Dentsu and Eurocom fell apart when Eurocom withdrew. Y&R and Dentsu reformed as Dentsu, Young & Rubicam Partnerships.

Peter Georgescu became chief executive officer in 1994 and began to streamline the company's operations. In 1995, Y&R began an acquisition push again, increasing ownership in advertising agencies and public relations firms across Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.

In 1996, Hellman & Friedman became Y&R's first outside investor, and on May 15, 1998, Y&R closed an initial public offering of its common stock, and became a public company. Edward Vick was Chief Operating Officer of Young & Rubicam Inc.from November 1997 to August 1999.[3]

In 2000, Y&R was acquired by the WPP Group, a London-based marketing communications holding company.


Young & Rubicam Advertising

Young & Rubicam Advertising is one of the world's largest consumer advertising agencies. Young & Rubicam Advertising ranks as the world's 10th largest advertising agency, with revenues of approximately $907 million.[4]

David Sable is the Global Chairman and CEO, Tony Granger is the Global Chief Creative Officer, and Peter Law-Gisiko is the CFO of Young & Rubicam Advertising.


VML, Inc. is a marketing technology company based in Kansas City, Missouri, with additional offices in New York, Seattle, San Francisco and Chicago. The VML network includes Studiocom, with offices in Atlanta, Los Angeles and Bogotá, Colombia, and VML in London.[5]

The Bravo Group and Kang & Lee

Bravo Group and Kang & Lee create multicultural marketing and communications programs targeted to the U.S. Hispanic and Asian communities through advertising, promotion and event marketing, public relations, research and direct marketing.


Wunderman's headquarters is in New York and operates in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia/Pacific regions.

Lester Wunderman, the founder of Wunderman, Ricotta & Kline in 1958 coined the phrase Direct Marketing to describe the new type of advertising he was practicing.[citation needed]

KnowledgeBase Marketing

KBM provides marketing services to businesses in targeted high-growth industries. KBM delivers its business services by creating consolidated databases, and then designing, implementing and evaluating database marketing programs for clients. KBM's capabilities include data warehousing, data mining, information services and data analysis. Y&R acquired KBM in May 1999.


This public relations company issues analysis, crisis management, consumer and business marketing and research, corporate communications, investor relations and public affairs advocacy. Burson-Marsteller has its headquarters in New York and operates in the United States, Latin America, the Asia/Pacific region and Europe.

BAV Consulting

BAV Consulting is a global consultancy, offering services in corporate, brand, and marketing strategies and customer insights. John Gerzema is the Executive Chairman and CEO of BAV Consulting.[6]

Cohn & Wolfe

Cohn & Wolfe is a public relations firm specializing in corporate communication and brand identity. It was founded in 1970 and was acquired by Young-Rubicam in 1984. Cohn & Wolfe operates in North America, Europe and Australia.

Robinson Lerer & Montgomery

Robinson Lerer & Montgomery specializes in working with the senior management of companies to develop and implement strategies for corporate image-building, financial transactions, crisis management, litigation support and media and investor programs.[7] RLM was founded in 1986 and was acquired by Y&R in March 2000.

Landor Associates

Landor Associates is a branding consultancy and strategic design firm. Landor offers branding and identity projects, including corporate identity, packaging and brand identity systems, retail design and branded environments, interactive branding and design, verbal branding and nomenclature systems, corporate literature, brand extensions and new brand development. From 1992 to 1994, Edward Vick was president and CEO[8]

Landor was founded in 1941 and was acquired by Y&R in 1989. Landor is based in San Francisco and operates in the Americas, Asia/Pacific and Australia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, including multidisciplinary consulting and design studios in New York, Seattle, Mexico City, Hamburg, London, Paris, Hong Kong, Dubai and Tokyo.

Sudler & Hennessey

S&H icon logo.jpg

Sudler & Hennessey is a healthcare communications firm that develops promotional and educational programs for a wide spectrum of healthcare companies. S&H creates advertising, direct marketing and sales promotion programs for prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications. In addition, S&H provides consultancy and communications support in the areas of managed care, medical devices and equipment, nutrition, veterinary medicine and general healthcare. Communications programs produced by S&H on behalf of its largely pharmaceutical industry client base are directed to healthcare professionals as well as patients and their support networks.

S&H was founded in 1941 and was acquired by Y&R in 1973. S&H has its headquarters in New York and operates in North America, Europe and the Asia/Pacific region.


TAXI is a marketing communications company that was founded in 1992 in Montreal. The company has three locations in Canada and [9] one in the United States.[10] Services include integrated branding campaigns; strategic planning; creative; and digital, design, print, and broadcast production.[9] In 2009, TAXI was awarded Platinum status by Deloitte based on six consecutive years among Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies.[11] In 2010, TAXI was named Agency of the Decade by Toronto-based Strategy magazine.[12]


The company was frequently cited in the AMC television series Mad Men, most notably in the Season 5 premiere episode "A Little Kiss", which recounts an actual incident from May 1966 in which Y&R employees poured water on and pitched water balloons at civil rights protestors on Madison Avenue.[13] The company Young & Rubicam is mentioned in the 1997 movie Picture Perfect, starring Jennifer Aniston and Jay Mohr. Jennifer Aniston's (Kate) boss Kevin Dunn (Mr. Mercer) commented, "When I got my first job at Young and Rubicam, I told them I graduated first in my class. Truth is, I was lucky to graduate at all."


In May 2012, a controversial ad made for the Argentine government by Young & Rubicam Argentina aired. In the video, an Argentine Olympic athlete is shown training in The Falkland Islands, including running up the steps of a British war memorial. The video quickly went viral and caused offense in Britain. The tagline was "To compete on British soil, we train on Argentinian soil." Y&R was quick to condemn the ad and released the following statement:

"Y&R's agency in Argentina created an ad for the Argentine government that has deeply offended many people in the UK and around the world. We strongly condemn this work and have asked the Argentine government to pull the spot. While we don't believe it was ever the intention of the ad's creators to desecrate a war memorial, they behaved in a manner that is unacceptable to our company. Furthermore it is against our policy to be involved in anything that is politically motivated. In addition, this spot was also offensive to the Olympics spirit. Whatever it was the creators set out to highlight, what they produced is contrary to everything that we as a company stand for. We are deeply regretful for the pain this ad has caused and apologize to the many who have been rightly disturbed by it, as have we."[14][15]

In December 2013, Mita Diran, a young copywriter died from overwork in a Y&R office in Indonesia.[16] She had been working for 30 hours straight, and staying up by drinking energy drinks.

Notable employees


  1. ^ a b "Y&R History". Retrieved 7 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "Wunderman (Wunderman Cato Johnson)". Retrieved 2016-12-23. 
  3. ^ Voight, Peter (March 9, 1998). "Young & Rubicam: The Market Makers: How Peter Georgescu And His Team Turned Adland’s Most Private Agency Into Its Biggest Public Coming-Out". Adweek. 
  4. ^ business profile at
  5. ^ "Studiocom Rebrands as VML". Retrieved 2016-12-23. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Robinson Lerer & Montgomery, LLC: Private Company Information - Bloomberg". Retrieved 2016-12-23. 
  8. ^ writers, staff (May 13, 2005). "Edward H. Vick: Executive Profile & Biography - Bloomberg". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved May 13, 2005. 
  9. ^ a b Toane, Carey (November 2008). "Taxi knockout". Agency of the Year. Strategy Magazine. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  10. ^ Gianatasio, David (2009-05-19). "Taxi Acquires Dutch I-Shop". Adweek. 
  11. ^ "Platinum Club members". Deloitte & Touche LLP. 
  12. ^ "There's No Stopping TAXI". Strategy. 
  13. ^ Wilson, Michael (March 28, 2012). "On 'Mad Men,' an Opening Scene Straight from Page 1". New York Times. Retrieved March 28, 2012. 
  14. ^ "The plot behind the Argentine Olympics Falklands political spot". Retrieved 1 April 2015. 
  15. ^ "Argentina's Olympic advert stirs row". 
  16. ^

External links

  • Young & Rubicam
  • Young & Rubicam Group
  • Young and Rubicam, Inc. Records of "Citizens for Eisenhower," Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library
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