Helen Bayless Lansdowne / Advertising Doyens

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Let us introduce you to Helen Bayless Lansdowne Resor, the first female ADVERTISER in history. (20 February 1886 - 2 January 1964)

A well-known copywriter and J. Walter Thompson Co. She was the agency manager.

Starting her career in Covington by working for a local manufacturer, Lansdowne continued as a billing auditor for Kentucky Procter & Collier. She later took her first creative position by writing an advertisement for the Commercial Tribune, a Cincinnati-based newspaper. In 1906 he became a copywriter for Lansdowne Resor, Street Railways Advertising Co.


Following his creative success in these positions, in 1907 Stanley Resor of Procter & Collier invited him to return to the agency as a copywriter.

In 1908, Lansdowne Resor became the first female copywriter at the J. Walter Thompson Co. Only three years later she was promoted and moved to the agency's New York office, where she helped create the first campaign for the acronym Crisco (vegetable).

In 1916, Stanley Resor purchased J. Walter Thompson Co. and became its president.

As the first woman to both plan and develop national advertising campaigns, she has become a channel that allows many women to enter the male-dominated advertising space. Lansdowne Resor has actively mentored young women, and J. Walter Thompson Co. Established a female editorial department in which women are encouraged to voice their opinions. These policies established the agency as a women-friendly organization that forced its competitors to follow its example. Her dedication to presenting the feminine experience correctly was recognized in her belief that "advertising should be believable", which prompted her to include more women in the advertising space.

Lansdowne Resor was also deeply involved in the New York suffrage movement. During the Great Depression, she helped provide shelter to homeless women and their families as president of the Traveller's Aid Association.

II. During World War II, Lansdowne Resor and his creative team were responsible for the development and execution of a campaign entitled "Women must work to win the war," which resulted in three million women entering the workforce by 1943.

Furthermore, Lansdowne Resor is known for her contribution to the use of sex appeals in advertisements through her 1911 print ad for the Woodbury Soap Company. The ad, about a light-skinned woman being touched by a man, was accompanied by the headline "Skin you love to touch". The slogan became so popular that Woodbury used it until the 1940s.


Besides its use of sexual appeal, the ad is also a prime example of Lansdowne Resor's innovative style of writing "feature stories"; took advantage of this ad copy by being very similar to the editorial copy of the magazines in which the ads were placed. Advertising executive Albert Lasker said the ad's use of sexual attraction made it one of three landmarks in advertising history. It was ranked 31st on the list of the 20th century's 100 best campaigns.

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