Wells, Rich, Greene, Inc.

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Advertising agency (WRG) founded in 1966 by Mary Wells, Richard Rich, and Stewart Greene, who were associates at Jack Tinker and Partners agency. Until its demise in 1998, WRG was ranked as one of the top 15 advertising agencies in the United States.

From the description of Wells Rich Greene, Inc., records, 1954-1998 and undated. (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 688291966

Two years after founding another airline, Paul and Tom Braniff established Braniff Airways, Inc., which originally flew passengers between Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Wichita Falls, Texas. By its 20th anniversary in 1950, the airline had moved its headquarters to Dallas, Texas, and had launched international flights to Canada, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. In 1964, Troy Post of the Greatamerica Corporation purchased Braniff Airways, which was re-incorporated in 1973 as the Braniff International Corporation to include Braniff Airways, Braniff Hotels, Braniff Realty, and Braniff Education Systems. Following the U. S. Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, the airline expanded its number of airplanes and destinations, including the first Concorde service in the United States. This increased the company’s debt, which eventually led to Braniff’s closure in May 1982. The next year, Jay Pritzker of Hyatt Hotels reorganized the airline as the Dalfort Corporation, which operated Braniff, Inc., until it too filed for bankruptcy in 1990. Jeffery Chodorow and Scot Spencer then bought the airlines and subsequently stole $14 million from the company, resulting in its end in 1992 and jail terms for the two men.


Braniff Collection, History of Aviation Collection in Special Collections, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas. Accessed May 4, 2011. http://www.utdallas.edu/library/collections/speccoll/hacpdf/Braniff.pdf .

Watts, B. Braniff International Airways, History. The Braniff Pages. Accessed May 4, 2011. http://www.braniffpages.com/ .

From the guide to the Braniff Airlines film 97-110., 1967, (Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin)

  • 1966: Opened upon the departures of Mary Wells, Richard Rich, and Stewart Greene from Jack Tinker and Partners
  • 1967: Won American Motors Company (AMC) account
  • 1968: Initial public offering Won Trans World Airlines (TWA) account
  • 1969: Richard Rich left WRG
  • 1970: AMC Gremlin launch Won Alka-Seltzer account (Miles Laboratories)
  • 1971: Agency of record, Procter & Gamble
  • 1974: WRG reverted to private ownership Stewart Greene left WRG
  • 1979: Won Ford Motor Company corporate account
  • 1990: Mary Wells Lawrence resigned as CEO, replaced by Ken Olshan
  • 1991: Majority stake sold to BDDP; renamed Wells Rich Greene BDDP
  • 1996: Sold to GGT PLC (London)
  • 1997: Renamed Wells BDDP; soon after sold to Omnicom Group
  • 1998: Dissolved by Omnicom

Among the notable campaign slogans created by WRG: Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, I can't believe I ate the whole thing, and Try it, you'll like it (all for Alka-Seltzer); I (heart) New York (New York State Commerce Commission); Trust the Midas Touch (Midas Muffler); At Ford, Quality is Job 1 (Ford Motor Company); and Raise Your Hand If You're Sure (Procter & Gamble's Sure anti-perpirant).

  • 1928 May 25: Born Mary Georgene Berg, Youngstown, Oh.
  • Circa 1945: Attended Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theater, New York, N.Y.
  • Circa 1947: Attended Carnegie Institute of Technology Married Bert Wells
  • 1951: Advertising writer, McKelvey's Department Store, Youngstown, Oh.
  • 1952: Fashion Advertising Manager, Macy's Department Store, New York, N.Y.
  • 1953: Copy Chief, McCann-Erickson agency
  • 1957 - 1963 : Worked at Doyle Dane Bernbach
  • 1964 - 1966 : Worked at Jack Tinker and Partners; primary responsibility for Braniff Airlines account
  • 1965: Divorced Bert Wells
  • 1966: Opened Wells Rich Greene, Inc. with Richard Rich, and Stewart Greene, associates from Jack Tinker and Partners
  • 1967: Married Harding Lawrence, CEO of Braniff Airlines
  • 1968: Upon WRG Initial public offering, became first woman CEO of a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange
  • 1969: Considered the highest-paid woman in U.S. advertising industry Inducted into Copywriters' Hall of Fame
  • 1970: Honorary Doctor of Law, Babson College
  • 1971: Named Advertising Woman of the Year Honorary Doctorate, Carnegie-Mellon University
  • 2002: Memoir, A Big Life in Advertising, published Harding Lawrence died

Sources: Advertising Age Encyclopedia of Advertising (Fitzroy Dearborn 2003); The Ad Men and Women (Applegate 1994); Who's Who in Advertising (1963-); Wikipedia, Mary Wells Lawrence

From the guide to the Wells Rich Greene Inc. Records, 1954-1998 and undated, (David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Braniff Airlines film 97-110., 1967 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
referencedIn Charles McKinney Papers, 1952-1993 and undated David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
creatorOf Wells Rich Greene Inc. Records, 1954-1998 and undated David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
creatorOf Wells Rich Greene, Inc. Wells Rich Greene, Inc., records, 1954-1998 and undated. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Motors Corporation. corporateBody
associatedWith Braniff Airways. corporateBody
associatedWith Bristol-Myers Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Cadbury Beverages Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Continental Airlines. corporateBody
associatedWith Ford Motor Company. corporateBody
associatedWith International Business Machines Corporation. corporateBody
associatedWith ITT Corporation. corporateBody
associatedWith John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History. corporateBody
associatedWith Lawrence, Mary Wells. person
associatedWith Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. corporateBody
associatedWith MCI Communications Corporation. corporateBody
associatedWith McKinney, Charles person
associatedWith Miles Laboratories. corporateBody
associatedWith New York (State). Dept. of Commerce. corporateBody
associatedWith Pan American World Airways, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Philip Morris Incorporated. corporateBody
associatedWith Procter & Gamble Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Ralston Purina Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Seagram Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Trans World Airlines. corporateBody
associatedWith Warnaco (Firm) corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Dallas (Tex.)
Advertising agencies
Advertising agencies
Television advertising

Corporate Body

Active 1954

Active 1998

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