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Helen Lansdowne Resor, Great Mind in Advertising


Helen Lansdowne Resor represents one of the greatest minds in advertising career and copywriting. She is a role model to emulate. Resor was born from a family of nine siblings and emerges out as a great mind in advertising industry. She eventually holds a position few women have attained in their careers.

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We are going to focus avidly on her great successes in the advertising career, her influence on women, support to art and devotion to public service. Her foremost achievements were accomplished when she worked at the J. Walter Company. She later became the Vice President of the J. Walters Thompson Company.

After graduating from High School at the age of seventeen, she began to work for the World manufacturing Company of toilet preparations sold exclusively by mail. A few years later, after gaining enough experience in several companies, she was offered a position in Cincinnati office of the Street Railways Advertising Company as a copy writer. (Keding 1994)

While working closer to her husband, she was promoted and moved to J. Walter Thompson in New York as a writer. In 1911 she was promoted to the Headquarters in New York. Resor invented the use of sex appeal in advertisement. She wrote original advertisements for Lux soap flakes, and Cutex nail polish. Her writings made her the first woman to involve feminine view in advertising. J Walter Thompson was the first American advertising agency to expand its operations worldwide, beginning with an office in London in 1927 (Keding 1994)

We clearly see her creative and innovative mind in revolutionizing the advertising industry with her brilliant approaches. Amazingly, she was at one point the overall supervisor for almost two thirds of the business in New York and Boston.

Working in the advertising industry, Resor became instrumental in the advancement of other women. Her influence on women enabled young and talented writers to pave way into securing employment. She was a key member in the New York Suffragist movement (Fox, 1984)

Peggy King a writer, acknowledged Helen’s Contribution. King confirmed that Helen Resor “had such faith in those who worked for her that they were motivated to put forth more effort” (Keding, 1994). At one point she hired activist who were unemployed after passage of women’s suffrage amendment.

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Resor had a lot of interest in art. Her love for art was found in the style of her advertisements. “With an eye for new art trends, Resor commissioned work by talented artists and undoubtedly contributed to the prominence they attained” (Keding, 1994) In one occasion, Norman Bel Geddes was commissioned by her to design the lush two-story conference room. She supervised the decoration and arrangement of the executive offices on the eleventh floor. Numerous interior designers, among them Elsie de Wolfe, were hired to decorate specific offices. The offices with windows on the outside of the building were separated from inner offices by iron grilles designed by Samuel Yellin, in stead of walls, so that secretaries might partake of the view (Keding, 1994). The architectural interest was related to art, making Resor a great mind where she involved advertising in different fields.

“Helen Lansdowne Resor had a long history of public service involvement through advertising” (Keding, 1994) She was responsible for directing and supervising all of the war work on behalf of the agency during the First World War. She held positions in a time women had a traditional image of being housewives and mothers. She devoted her time to several organizations and charities like Radcliffe College and Planned Parenthood Association. In 1926 to 1936 she was the committee chairperson for the Babies Ward and improved the hospital to greater heights.


After living a life of contributions to advertising, women, art and public service, Helen Lansdowne Resor led an extraordinary life that most of us have already admired. She became a great inspiration to the copy department, she revolutionized the advertising industry. As a result of her great mind, she deserves immense credit for the quality of inspirations she has contributed to the copy department and advertising industry.


Fox, Stephen R. 1984, The Mirror Makers: A History of American Advertising and Its Creators, New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc.

Keding, A. M. 1994, The Ad Men and Women – A Biographical Dictionary of Advertising, Applegate, E., ed. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

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StudyCorgi. "Helen Lansdowne Resor, Great Mind in Advertising." December 3, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Helen Lansdowne Resor, Great Mind in Advertising." December 3, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Helen Lansdowne Resor, Great Mind in Advertising'. 3 December.

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