Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Foote, Cone & Belding
Foote, Cone & Belding

Foote, Cone & Belding

This company was the descendant of one of the original American advertising firms, Lord & Thomas, which was founded in 1873 and became a national enterprise based in New York City. When Lord & Thomas chief Albert Lasker retired in 1942, several of the company's executives came together to create Foote, Cone & Belding, which was based in Chicago. By 1965, annual billings stood at nearly $230 million, and the firm had over 2,000 employees around the country. By this time, the firm was a leading producer of advertisements for television. Among the ad campaigns launched by the company were those that promoted Levi Strauss clothing, Coors beer, and the Kleenex and Kotex brands of Kimberly-Clark. Among Chicago-based ad agencies, Foote Cone trailed only Leo Burnett. During the 1990s, Foote Cone became part of True North Communications Inc., a new global ad firm headquartered in Chicago. At the end of the century, True North had nearly $1.5 billion in annual revenues and employed about 1,200 people in the Chicago area. In 2001, Interpublic purchased True North. By 2003, Foote, Cone & Belding, as a part of Interpublic, still ranked as Chicago's second-largest advertising agency, but it had only 425 local employees and its headquarters had moved to New York.