Emerson Foote

 Posted by on December 23, 2010 at 8:25 am  Retro, Season 4
Dec 232010

In Blowing Smoke, Megan tells Don that Emerson Foote called in response to his anti-smoking letter in the New York Times. (Of course, Megan also told him that Senator Kennedy called, so who knows if it was really Foote?)

Emerson Foote

Emerson Foote

Emerson Foote was an advertising legend; creator of a famous Lucky Strike(!) ad campaign and founder of Foote, Cone, & Belding. He left his own agency to become a senior executive at McCann-Erickson, and in 1964 resigned from that company, famously announcing he would no longer work for any company that did business with tobacco.

This is a rather rough scan of an article about Foote “quitting smoking” from the New York Times in 1964.

Here’s a Time Magazine bio of Foote from March 10, 1967, when he was returning to advertising for his “third incarnation.”

Here’s his 1992 New York Times obituary.

Finally, here’s an interesting history of Foote, Cone, & Belding, the company he founded and abruptly left.


  6 Responses to “Emerson Foote”

  1. So. Will do you think we’ll see him next season, or was that mention just a cultural touchstone and something for us all to look up! :> (I did, too…)

  2. Man, is my foot cone belding.

  3. Interesting links, Ms Lipp, especially the last one:

    “In 1948 George Hill died. Leadership of his company passed to Vincent Riggio, a man with whom Emerson Foote felt he could not do business. On Foote’s recommendation the American Tobacco account, fully one-fourth of the agency’s business, was terminated by the agency. Emerson Foote, suffering from manic depression and thinking that he may have given up too much in relinquishing the account, had a nervous breakdown. He subsequently sold his stock at below market value and left the firm.”

    Not too much like Don Draper, who only had a justified panic reaction to seeing what he thought were G-men at his door. Though I guess you could call him chronically depressed, and he does seem manic at times. (Oh, and he proposed to Megan, which makes him certifiable). [kidding]

    But ’48 is way early. The Readers Digest article was in ’55. Before that, the idea that smoking was bad for you was more ignored than acknowledged, despite some doctors’ warnings and some folks calling cigarettes coffin nails. Sounds like Foote’s first stand against American Tobacco was a personality issue, not a moral stand.

    Here’s another Time story, from ’64:


    Not much detail, but he clearly takes a stand against the ravishes of Tobacco.

  4. And the radishes, too.

  5. I have just seen the music and I saw that it miss for season 2 and 3 do you put it ?

  6. Oops, ravages

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