March is Women’s History Month and a great time to look back in advertising history for significant early achievements by women.
Here is a revealing document (a list of members of the Advertising Hall of Fame):
Thankfully, the list improves through the decades, but perhaps not as dramatically as it should.
The 1st Content Queen: Erma Perham Proetz
Erma Perham Proetz was a brilliant copywriter and the first woman inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame. She worked in St. Louis for Gardner Advertising.
Under the pseudonym Mary Lee Taylor, Proetz wrote articles and made radio broadcasts. Her character, Mary Lee Taylor, was billed as “nutritionist and home economist” for the
The Mary Lee Taylor Show debuted at the height of the Great Depression with “Mary Lee Taylor” initially providing economic recipes, various cooking tips and, of course, clever ways to cook with the sponsor’s product, PET Milk.
In the 1940s, she starting offering free recipe books by mail for the listeners, booklets that are highly sought after by cooking enthusiasts even today.
Echoes of Erma Are Everywhere
Erma Perham Proetz was a pioneer. Today, there are countless pioneering women making outstanding contributions to the advertising business. Maybe you work with one. Maybe you are mentored by one. Maybe you are one!
London agency, Janee is “a new creative resource of mature creative women who want to change how we communicate with the most powerful consumer group on earth. Us.” Smart. Advertising goes where the money is and the money is in the pockets of women over 50.
Sue Higgs is one of the most hilarious women you will ever meet. She’s been in advertising agencies since the late eighties and they have changed a lot.
Giving her a lot of material.
“Everyone talks about side hustle these days. I’m a single mum to three
teenagers. That’s my side hustle. What do they want me to do?
Start a micro-brewery? Knit vaginas?”
Who are the women in advertising who have made a difference in your life, or the life of your company? Please email me the details for a possible feature.