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RIP Lester Wunderman

Lester Wunderman, who cofounded Wunderman, Ricotta & Kline in New York City in 1958 and retired after 50 years in ad land, has passed away at the age of 98.

The news comes just a few weeks after WPP merged Wunderman agency with J Walter Thompson (JWT) to form Wunderman Thompson.

#NewBiz: Wunderman and J. Walter Thompson form Wunderman Thompson

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Described as a direct marketing pioneer, is said by AdWeek to have Wunderman co-founded "the world’s first unofficial direct marketing agency," having first used the phrase “direct marketing” in place of direct mail or mail order in 1961, giving the concept definition and strategy.

Malcolm Gladwell wrote the following of Wunderman in The New Yorker in 1998:
He was the person who first put bound-in subscription cards in magazines, who sold magazines on late-night television with an 800 number, who invented the forerunner of the scratch-‘n’-sniff ad, who revolutionised the mail-order business and who, in a thousand other ways, perfected the fine detail of true salesmanship.
AdWeek confirms Wunderman passed away of natural causes.

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