4 de febrero de 1848 - 5 de marzo de 1923
Genera amplitud y respeto por el negocio de la publicidad con su política de contrato abierto con el cual los clientes pagan sólo comisión sobre medios. Su hijo actualiza la agencia como la primera en ofrecer un servicio completo, adicionando oficinas en las principales ciudades con departamentos de nuevos negocios y contratando copies y artistas de tiempo completo. Todo esto antes de 1910. Rechaza entre otras, cuentas de bebidas alcohólicas para construir una mejor relación público-publicidad. Crea las primeras campañas institucionales y sus investigaciones se concentran en medios impresos. Otra innovación: Sólo medio día de trabajo los sábados. N.W. Ayer & Son, Philadelphia.
At the age of 21, F. Wayland Ayer used his savings of $250 to found N.W. Ayer and Son. Beginning with a small clientele of only 11 religious newspapers, Ayer worked vigorously to build his agency into the nation's largest by 1900. The success of his agency and the rapid pace at which it grew was unparalled in its day. By the time of Ayer's death in 1923, his agency handled many of America's largest companies including RJ Reynolds, Ford, DeBeers, Canada Dry, H.J. Heinz, Cadillac, Western Union, American Telephone and Telegraph and Steinway.
Ayer revolutionized the function and activities of the advertising agency, setting the pace for the high professional standards of agency service today. In 1875 the common role of the advertising agent was limited to buying space from publications as inexpensively as possible and reselling it to advertisers at a much higher price. Ayer completely changed the way agencies approached the business, choosing to represent the interests of the advertiser even when it stood to work against the immediate interests of his company.
In 1875 Ayer introduced the "open-contract-plus-commission" plan. Ayer's contract guaranteed his clients the lowest possible rates the agency could negotiate with the media. The agency's profit came in the form of a commission, eventually 15 percent, based on a percentage of what the advertiser paid for the space. In 1887, Ayer circulated his agency's philosophy, which was truly a reflection of his dedication to the advertiser. It included statements such as, "We do not wish any advertiser to deal with us unless it is to his interest to do so."
To better serve the needs of clients, N.W. Ayer and Son began to offer broad professional services that went above and beyond the conventional agency role of just purchasing space for the advertiser. Ayer's firm pioneered the fields of planned advertising, improved typographic technique, advertising art, research and public relations.
Francis Wayland Ayer (February 4, 1848 - March 5, 1923) was a American advertising businessman.
Ayer was born to Nathaniel Wheeler Ayer and Joanna B. Wheeler in Lee, Massachusetts, though he was raised in western New York. Ayer taught in district schools and spent one year studying at the University of Rochester before moving to Philadelphia. There he was hired by a religious newspaper for the position of an advertising solicitor, but by 1867 he and his father founded their own company, N. W. Ayer & Son. Besides themselves, they began with only a bookkeeper and US$25.
In 1873 his father Nathaniel died, leaving him to become the senior partner of the company. Two years later he married his first wife, Rhandera Gilman. That same year he introduced the "open contract".
In 1914 his first wife died, and five years later he remarried Martha K. Lawson.
Meridale Farms once huge in local dairy industry
Many are familiar with the old saying, "You can take the boy out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the boy." In a way, this was true about Francis Wayland Ayer, the founder of the former Meridale Farms, in the town of Meredith. Part of the grounds is home to next weekend's Meredith Dairy Fest.
Ayer was a successful businessman in Philadelphia, founder of N.W. Ayer & Son, an advertising firm Francis named as a tribute to his father. In the late 1800s, Francis was visiting a relative in Meridale and apparently became so enthralled with the beauty of the area, he took an interest in breeding cattle and became a part-time resident, in addition to his firm in Philadelphia.
Francis W. Ayer was born in 1848 in Lee, Mass., but the family moved to Dundee, near Cayuga Lake, when he was a boy. When he was 3, his mother died. His father re-married three years later to Harriet Post, who had the relative in Meridale.
At age 14, Ayer was offered a schoolmaster position at a country school near Dundee. His father practiced law but later quit to teach school and in 1867 opened a private school for girls in Philadelphia. Francis, with the money he earned teaching school, enrolled at the University of Rochester but had to quit after a year when his savings were depleted.
In 1868, Ayer then went to Philadelphia where he taught school part time. It was at that time he was offered a job in advertising sales. Only a year later, Ayer opened N.W. Ayer & Son, having said farewell to $700 a year to teach. His agency prospered quickly, and became one of the largest ad agencies in the U.S. in the late 19th century.
Ayer came to visit his uncle, the Rev. Mr. Post in Meridale in 1888. He soon had a country home and developed his hobby of cattle breeding. By 1898, he purchased what was known as the Center Farm, which dated back to 1799, purchased at that time by Samuel Law. Law was a lawyer and land agent for the Franklin Patent and was instrumental in getting the town of Meredith formed in 1800, as well as getting the Susquehanna/Catskill Turnpike routed through Meredith.
Ayer convinced his advertising partner, Henry Nelson McKinney and a few other investors to transform Meridale Farms from a summer hobby into a dairy industry standard of excellence in breeding and butter production.
Meridale Farms had nearly 2,500 acres at its peak. At one time, nearly 600 thoroughbred Jersey cows made a herd. Their creamery, named Meridale Dairies, was so successful that it was moved first to Delhi and then to Oneonta at the turn of the 20th century.
Ayer continued to work part of the year in Philadelphia, but it became a summer tradition for several years to bring many of his employees at the agency to Meridale. They stayed at the Meredith Inn, which Ayer had started in 1913. The four-story frame building was destroyed by fire in March 1922. Ayer passed away in March 1923, and the Meridale Farms and Meredith Inn were continued by his daughter and son-in-law.
Anna and Wilfred Fry then remodeled the Ayer summer home, called Hillcrest, into a new Meredith Inn. From 1923 to 1945, this was a preferred vacation destination. The food was home-grown, and guests could enjoy many recreational activities or leisurely read and play games in a log cabin that had a large fireplace at each end. Once Mr. and Mrs. Fry passed away, the farm was divided and sold. Wilfred Fry had also carried on his late father-in-law's ad agency.
By April 1948, stock, machinery and equipment had been sold in an auction. In June 1953, fire struck again, leveling the former home of Francis and Martha Ayer. Ayer's first wife had died, and he remarried Miss Martha Lawson.
In years since, the land has been divided into private ownerships.
On Monday: Yolanda Vega was just a kid when the first lottery started in New York State in 1967.
City Historian Mark Simonson's column appears twice weekly. On Saturdays, his column focuses on the area during the Depression and before. His Monday columns address local history after the Depression. If you have feedback or ideas about the column, write to him at The Daily Star, or e-mail him at email@example.com. His website is www.oneontahistorian.com
A Brief History and His Lasting Impact on Advertising
Francis Wayland Ayer was born on February 4, 1848 in Lee, Massachusetts. Ayer's Father practiced law but quit to teach school. Ayer's father, Nathan Wheeler Ayer, was not only a graduate from Brown University, but was also a devout Baptist and unfortunately suffered from ill health. N.W. was not a wealthy man; he made a modest living and taught his son to uphold a few basic values: responsibility, integrity, and honesty. This upbringing led F.W. Ayer to refuse advertising of Patent Medicines, alcohol and other corrupt and deceptive adverting as well as create the first open contract to try and establish grounds of an honest advertising agency.
Ayer grew up in New York and when he was fourteen years old he was offered a school master position. This position would normally be offered to someone older but due to the Civil War the better suited men were gone. A year later he started teaching at the Dundee Village School. His teaching jobs allowed him to save up some money which he then used to enroll in the University of Rochester. He was forced to quit the school and ask his father for financial help due to the depletion of his savings. Unfortunately N.W. Ayer himself was enduring rough financial times and was unable to aid his son. After attending Rochester for only a year, Ayer returned to Philadelphia and accepted a job at the National Baptist, a religious journal, in 1868. The director of the weekly religious journal was Dr. Boyd a close friend of N.W. Ayer. Ayer gave up a $700 a year teaching job to work with Dr. Boyd who would give him 25% commission to sell ad space for the journal. The first week on the job Ayer had trouble landing any sales but, as luck would have it, the next week he made $50 off a $200 sale, and to him it was only the beginning. F.W. Ayer experienced success quickly, earning $1,200 in commission by the end of the year. Instead of signing on to the $2,000 annual salary he was offered by the National Baptist, F.W. Ayer again took the more ambitious path. At the age of 21 in April 1869, he opened his own advertising firm N.W. Ayer and Son with only $250 in total capital.
Instead of naming the firm after himself, F.W. Ayer cleverly called the firm N.W. Ayer and Son after his father. This gave his agency an appearance of establishment and experience. His innovative genius drove the company to immediate success, and in its first year of business N.W. Ayer and Son grossed $15,000. By the end 1873 the agency was already grossing $79,000 per year. The following year N.W. Ayer and Son expanded its influence over the advertising world by introducing its own new advertising publications, Ayer & Son's Manual for Advertisers. This magazine publication listed the information about the newspapers they advertised for, including information about the rates and circulation of each individual paper. In 1876, N.W. Ayer and Son introduced another publication, The Advertiser's Guide, which unlike the Manual, included business news, funny stories, and advertising articles.
In 1904, Wilfred Fry married Anna, F.W. Ayer's oldest daughter. Fry became a junior partner in under two years for N.W. Ayer and Son and helped F.W. Ayer run the company in the early 1900's and The Progressive Era. When F.W. Ayer died in 1923, Fry assumed control of N.W. Ayer and Son and planted agencies in Europe and Latin America turning it into an international agency in 1927. That same year the name was changed to accommodate the company going international by becoming N.W. Ayer ABH international.
F.W. Ayer, unlike many advertisers of his time, used his innovation and advertising genius without means of puffery or corrupt practices. Additionally, N.W. Ayer and Son developed the open contract, which set the standard of 15% commission for an ad agency. This open contract also guaranteed the cheapest price that could be negotiated, by N.W. Ayer and Son, with a client. Before this open contract, ad companies were making astronomical profits due to the distance they were able to put between how much companies paid advertisers and the cost of publishing paid by the advertisers. As said by Matt Greitzer, a writer for mediapost.com, the 15% network model is over 150 years old making it the same age as the transcontinental railroad.
Ayer's innovative effect on the advertising industry was not just confined to the way he ran his business. F.W. Ayer was one of the most brilliant slogan creators of his day. We can still see his reflection in some of N.W. Ayer and Son's longest running and best slogans, for example " A Diamond is forever" for De Beer's Diamonds, and the equally famous quote "When it rains it pours" for Morton Salt. According to Adage.com "A Diamond is forever" is the number one slogan of all time. The slogan's popularity grew so much that during the 1900's it became an American Icon capitalized on by Hollywood. The slogan was the basis for the song "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" as performed by Marilyn Monroe in the 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blonds. Later the slogan was chosen to be the name of the Oscar nominated 1971 James Bond film "Diamonds are Forever", and then went on to become a trademarked James Bond theme song.
We see the lasting influences of F.W. Ayer everyday as we are exposed to a plethora of ads. We can thank him when we go to work for a half day on Saturday as he was the innovator of such a schedule. More than anything we can see the profound impact he had on both our world and the world of advertising by the number of companies and products that are trademarked, and securely cemented in the public eye because of the innovative ad campaigns run by F.W. Ayer and his company N.W. Ayer and Son. Just to name a few of the major companies and institutes that used N.W. Ayer and Son and withstood the tale of time: De Beer's, Morton Salt, Whitman's Chocolates, Swinger Sewing machines, Camel cigarettes, Ford, Steinway, Harvard, Proctor and Gamble soaps, Standard Oil, and National Biscuit Company (Uneeda Biscuit). And every time you see a U.S. Army commercial and you find yourself humming "Be all you can be" you can think back to how it all began over 150 years ago with Francis Wayland Ayer.
Fuente: advertisinghistory.pbworks.com. Ali Gokal, Ryan Frater y Nathan Gregurek
FRANCIS WAYLAND AYER'S ancestors hailed from Norwich, England. His great-grandfather arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1637 where he founded Newbury and Haverhill, Massachusetts.
Ayer was born on February 4, 1848, in Lee, Massachusetts, to Nathan Wheeler and Joanna B. Ayer. He was named after Dr. Francis Wayland, the president of Brown University, where his father had attended school.
When he was three-years-old, Ayer's mother died. His father remarried three years later to Harriet Post. Ayer's father practiced law, but later quit to teach school. In 1867, he opened a private school for girls in Philadelphia.
Ayer grew up in New York. When he was 14, he was offered a schoolmaster position at a county school near Dundee, New York. He was paid $200 a month and was provided room and board by the families of his students. Normally, the job would have been offered to someone older. However, the Civil War was in its second year, and the older men were fighting in the war. Because of his youth, Ayer found himself teaching children who were his own age and even older. A year later, Ayer began teaching at the Dundee village school. While he was there, enrollment grew from 11 to 70.
With the money he earned from his teaching jobs, Ayer enrolled in the University of Rochester in the Fall of 1867. Unfortunately, Ayer had to quit after one year when his savings were depleted. He returned to Philadelphia in June 1868 and began teaching part time. After only a few weeks of teaching, he accepted a job in advertising sales at the National Baptist.
Ayer entered the world of advertising in 1868 after giving up an offer of $700 a year to teach. He went to work for Dr. Boyd, a friend of his father's, who was the director of a weekly religious newspaper called the National Baptist. He offered Ayer a 25% commission to sell advertising space for the publication.
Because he did not make any sales, Ayer's first week as an ad man was grim. However, the following week, Ayer finally made his first $50 off a sale of $200, and his success was only the beginning. By the end of the year, Ayer had earned $1,200, and Boyd made him an offer of an annual salary of $2,000.
Again, the ambitious, young Ayer refused the offer of a steady job to take the chance with opening his own advertising agency. On April 1, 1869, with only $250 in capital, N.W. Ayer & Son was born. The agency was so named for a couple of reasons. First of all, Ayer gave his father a 50% share of the business as a tribute. Secondly, being only 21, Ayer felt his age would hinder his credibility. Therefore, the name gave the impression that the agency was bigger and more established than it really was. Because of Ayer's focus on honest business and hard work, the agency prospered quickly.
N.W. Ayer & Son opened for business on 530 Arch Street in Philadelphia. A third-story room adjacent to the offices of the National Baptist was rented to house the agency. The business comprised of selling advertising space in the numerous religious publications popular during the period. In its first year, N.W. Ayer & Son made $15,000.
In 1870, the business moved to larger headquarters on 719 Samson Street. The growing agency also led to the hiring of the first employee, George O. Wallace as the agency's first bookkeeper.
By 1873, the agency was making $79,000 annually. The same year Ayer's father died. The death of his father troubled Ayer and threatened the future of the business. Ayer feared that his stepmother would sell his father's share of the business to outsiders who would not have the agency's best interest at heart and who would not be willing to run the agency in the same ethical and moral manner in which Ayer believed. Luckily, Ayer's stepmother sold him his father's shares, and the agency was able to continue as he had planned.
Starting in 1874, Ayer became involved in issuing his own publications. The first was the Ayer & Son's Manual for Advertisers. The annual publication listed papers from which the agency sought its business, the papers' rates, and their circulation.
The agency established a printing department the following year. However, printing purposes were limited only to typesetting. Other creative services were not offered because of Ayer's belief that the client knew its product best.
Also in 1875, N.W. Ayer & Son introduced the open contract, a practice which would alter the history of advertising forever. The open contract guaranteed clients the lowest possible rates the agency could negotiate with publications. Commission was later added and ranged from 8.5% to 15%. By 1909, the open contract became known as "O.C. + 15" by the agency, and the 15% commission later became an industry standard.
In 1876, N.W. Ayer put out The Advertiser's Guide which comprised of business articles, essays on advertising, humorous anecdotes, and other information. The quarterly magazine was available at no cost to the agency's clients. Others could subscribe to the magazine for 50¢.
In October 1877, N.W. Ayer & Son made another historical step. The agency took over Coe, Wetherhill, & Co., formerly Joy, Coe, & Co., which had bought Volney B. Palmer's business. The significance of this acquisition was that it linked N.W. Ayer & Son with what is to believed the first advertising agency. This merger added another item to the list of "firsts" associated with N.W. Ayer & Son.
In 1884, N.W. Ayer & Son finally began to offer its clients advertising production services. The first ad written by the agency was for Police Plug Tobacco. However, the first full-time copywriter was not hired for another nine years, and the first artist was not hired until 1892. The agency began creating ads for several large clients such as RJ Reynolds, Ford, De Beers, Canada Dry, H.J. Heinz, Cadillac, Western Union, American Telephone and Telegraph, and Steinway.
By the early 1900s, Ayer was able to devote more time to activities outside of the agency.
In addition to owning his own agency, Ayer was director of Merchants National Bank of Philadelphia and became president of the bank in 1895. He became chairman of the board when the bank merged with the First National Bank of Philadelphia. He had already served, from 1887 thorough 1891, as vice-president of the New Jersey Trust and Safe Deposit Company, with its building at 301 Market Street.
Ayer and business partner Henry Nelson McKinney joined together outside the agency to raise thoroughbred Jersey cattle. What began as a hobby turned into a million dollar business with the herds being the second largest in the nation.
Although Ayer cam from a Puritan background he was an active Baptist and was extremely religious. When he returned to Philadelphia after dropping out of the University of Rochester, he became a member of the North Baptist Church in Camden NJ, where his parents resided. F. Wayland Ayer made his home at 406 Penn Street in Camden NJ as early as 1887 through his death in 1923. This building is one of the few remaining in the neighborhood from that era, and has been used for many years for offices by Rutgers University.
Upon joining North Baptist Church until his death, Ayer was the church's Sunday school superintendent. In addition to his local position, Ayer served as president of the New Jersey State Baptist Convention and Northern Baptist Convention.
Along with running an agency, serving on various boards, and holding several important community positions, including that of president of Camden's YMCA, Ayer was both a husband and a father. He married Rhandena Gilman on May 5, 1875. Together, they had two daughters, Alice and Anna. Rhandena died in 1914. Five years after her death, Ayer married Martha K. Lawson on April 21, 1919.
In 1919, N.W. Ayer & Son celebrated its 50th anniversary. Ex-president Taft was in attendance and paid a glowing compliment to Ayer: "We are honoring a man who has made advertising a science, and who has robbed it of many evil tendencies, and who has the right to be proud of the record he has made".
F. Wayland Ayer brought respect and broader influence to the advertising business. His business was the world's first full-service ad agency, with offices in major cities, a new-business department, and full-time copywriters and artists, all before 1910. He rejected, on both religious and business grounds, alcoholic beverage and patent medicine accounts in order to bring public understanding of advertising. His planning department centralized print media research for clients, and prepared America's first institutional ad campaigns.
Wilfred W. Fry, who married Ayer's oldest daughter, Anna, in 1904 became employed at N.W. Ayer & Son five years later. In 1911, he became a junior partner. He later became the agency's manager in 1916 and took complete control over the agency when F. Wayland Ayer died on March 5, 1923 in Philadelphia.
F. Wayland Ayer was elected to the Advertising Hall of Fame in 1950, its second year of existence. His mansion at 406 Penn Street has been utilized as part of Rutgers University's Camden campus for many years, and is one of the few buildings of the era left standing as Rutgers has expanded in the neighborhood between Pearl and Cooper Streets.