Old School Visionary.

By Tom Hirons, President & CEO

Philip Ward Burton was an advertising genius.

Burton’s career started at Procter & Gamble where he responded to letters from consumers and rose to be the senior creative officer consulting on all Procter & Gamble brands. He went on to be a professor at Syracuse University, the feeder school for New York agencies. His textbook for advertising concepting and copywriting became the most widely used in the U.S. His weekly column in Advertising Age, “Which Ad Pulled Best?” popularized his research on advertising perception and explained what factors contributed to advertising effectiveness.

In 1987, the American Advertising Federation wanted to present him with its inaugural Distinguished Educator Award and name it the Burton Award. He accepted the award but declined to have it named after himself, saying, “You never know what scoundrels may follow me.” In reality, he was too humble to have the award named after him.