Lester Wunderman

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A pioneer of direct marketing during the last half of the 20th century, Wunderman was influenced by the work of direct-marketing thinkers Victor Schwab, Harry Scherman, and Maxwell Sackheim. Hired as a copywriter by Sackheim at Maxwell Sackheim & Co. in 1947, Wunderman blossomed as a marketing strategist. Recognizing that many ‘mail order’ accounts were ripe for growth through broader marketing efforts, he introduced his ‘direct marketing’ concept. He established Wunderman, Ricotta & Kline in 1958 (acquired by Young & Rubicam in 1973) and, with his vast multimedia agency, often co-branded direct-selling ‘breakthrough’ campaigns, built Columbia Record Club and American Express's travel and entertainment credit card businesses.

Subjects: Marketing.

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