The Biography Summary of David Ogilvy

July 19, 2018 171 views

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David Ogilvy- Short Biography

No man has been credited for advertising than David Ogilvy. His company, Ogilvy, and Mather have branches all over the world and it continues to grow today.

His company has championed the cause of the ‘hard-sell’, offering products and sales propositions directly to customers.

But Ogilvy built his reputation on soft-selling, an alternative advertising approach, which has cemented his influence on the industry.

David Ogilvy – From the Bottom Up…

Ogilvy is an example of a man who rose from the bottom and worked his way to the top of his industry. Since his father could not afford to send him to university, he graduated only because of a scholarship that he obtained.

He sold cooking stoves door to door and was asked by his boss to write a sales instruction manual. This was no ordinary sales instruction manual because Fortune Magazine claimed that its tenets still held true thirty years after it was written. It was also this instruction manual that helped him land a job at an advertising agency where his brother worked.

After working there for a while, he was relocated to the United States and worked with a research company. What followed was the start of his own company with Mather and Crowther.

Things did not come easily for Ogilvy in the beginning since getting clients was a challenge that he had to contend with every day. Ogilvy knew, however, that he had to work best with those clients he already had and eventually, other companies took notice.

He also advanced his soft-sell approach, which did not always bring in the most profits compared to a hard-sell approach, but this is what earned respect and admiration for Ogilvy in the advertising industry. Later on, he penned the book Ogilvy on Advertising, which chronicles his unique experiences as an advertising visionary.

The David Ogilvy Quick Bio

Full name:  David Mackenzie Ogilvy

Birthdate: June 23, 1911 – July 21, 1999

Birthplace: Surrey, England

Company: Ogilvy and Mather Worldwide

Industry: Services

Key Success Traits:  Enterprising, goal-oriented, determined


The WPP group took over Ogilvy and Mather and David Ogilvy publicly defiled the chairman of WPP. The only written apology Ogilvy is said to have written now hangs in the office of the WPP chairman.

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