Collection documents Barton Cummings's career as an advertising industry spokesman, particularly in the areas of advertising education and advertising in the public interest.
Scope and Contents note:
Series 1: Speeches and publicity relating to Cummings's career as an industry spokesman, particularly in the areas of advertising education, and advertising in the public interest; also numerous awards and citations, and some photographs.
Series 2: Advertising copy written while Cummings was with Benton & Bowles, correspondence, conference proceedings, and business proposals. Of special interest are primary materials documenting the development of a marketing strategy and advertising campaign for Gerald Ford's 1976 Presidential Campaign. Also includes internal correspondence and other documentation relating to the Ad Council's "Buy American" and "American Economic System" campaigns, launched during the recessionary economic climate of the early to mid-1970s.
Series 3: Magazine articles, transcripts of interviews with Cummings, and unpublished anecdotes and reminiscences about the advertising business.
Series 4: Transcripts for 23 of 26 interviews Cummings conducted with legendary advertising figures. Fifteen of these interviews were edited and published in "Advertising's Benevolent Dictators,"Crain Books, 1984.
Collection is arranged into five series.
Series 1: Speeches & Publicity, 1956-1988
Series 2: Business Papers, 1938-1991
Series 3: Published & Unpublished Manuscripts, 1908-1983
Series 4: Advertising's Benevolent Dictators, undated
Series 5: Multi-Media Materials, undatedf
Bart Cummings (born 1914) is a former Chief Executive Officer of Compton Advertising, Incorporated, and Chairman Emeritus of Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide.
Cummings began his advertising career working during school breaks at his father's advertising agency, the Earl Cummings Advertising Agency (later Cummings Brand McPherson Associates Inc.) in Rockford, Illinois. He graduated with a degree in Journalism from the University of Illinois in 1935, where he also played varsity football. Cummings maintained a lifelong interest in football, and in 1959 was awarded the Sports Illustrated Silver Anniversary Award for former college football stars who go on to distinguish themselves in other fields.
After graduation, Cummings took a trainee position with his father's agency, leaving several months later to take a trainee position with Swift & Company. From 1936 until 1942 he was with Benton & Bowles in New York, where he was a copywriter on accounts for Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise and Lord Calvert Whiskey, among others. During World War II, he served in the Offices of War Information and Price Administration in Washington, D.C. He resigned in 1943 to join the Navy, and was assigned to the Amphibious Forces, 7th fleet. He saw action in Guinea, Borneo and the Philippines.
After the War, Cummings joined Maxon, Inc. as an account executive, and was elected to Vice President a year later. In 1947, he began a long and successful career with Compton Advertising, moving from account executive to President in only eight years. In 1963, Cummings was named chairman and chief executive officer, a position he held for nearly twenty years. When Compton merged with Saatchi & Saatchi in the 1980s, Cummings was named chairman emeritus of that international agency.
Mr. Cummings has enjoyed a distinguished career as leader and spokesman for every major advertising industry association. He has served as chairman of the American Association of Advertising Agencies (1969 70); chairman of the American Advertising Federation (1972 73), Chairman of the Ad Council (1979 81), chairman of the board of trustees for the James Webb Young Fund at the University of Illinois, and chairman and director of the Advertising Educational Foundation. Other public service includes work as the chairman of the advertising division for the New York Heart Association (1963 73), chairman of the Public Service Advisory Committee for the City of New York, and director of the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan New York (1954 77). Throughout his career, Mr. Cummings has championed the use of advertising in the public interest, and has been outspoken on the need for advertising education and industry self-regulation.
Materials in the Archives Center
NW Ayer Advertsing Agency Records (AC0059)
Collection donated by Barton S. Cummings in November 1991.
Collection is open for research.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.