RIP ‘The Original Mad Woman’

Phyllis Robinson, 1921 - 2010

DDB’s, Phyllis Robinson, the first ever female Copy Chief (1949) in the US, passed away one day shy of 2011 aged 89.

It was the New York magazine which referred to her as the original ‘Mad Woman’. Though, I have it from someone who knew her, she was anything but. ‘Gracious, kind, elegant, encouraging, sunny disposition,’ were just some of the words he used to describe her.

She was part of the DDB advertising revolution in the fifties and sixties America creating such breathtakingly original campaigns as Levys and Ohrbach’s.

It is reported that after seeing her Ohrbach’s ad, Volkswagen said they wanted the agency that did that ad. The rest is history.

You can read a more fitting eulogy about her here:

It must have been an incredibly difficult time for a woman not only to cut it in the ad industry, but to be one of the all-time greats – having been inducted into the Copywriters Hall of Fame in 1968, and in 1999, Advertising Age listed her as one of the 100 most influential figures in the history of advertising.

Rest in Peace, Phyllis. An inspiration and a true original.


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Filed under Advertising, Inspiration

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