Tuesday, February 11, 2014
When Westport, CT was the center of the Marketing World
Following 14 years in Brand Management at Procter & Gamble, Ralph Glendinning moved to Westport, CT in 1962 to start Glendinning Associates, the first Marketing Consulting firm in the World. Early clients included consumer giants like General Foods, Lever Bros., Ogilvy & Mather and H.J. Heinz. David Ogilvy once wrote that "when it comes to sales promotion, Ralph Glendinning is a true genius."Glendinning became a powerhouse, with offices in London, Paris and Frankfurt. It also spawned many spin-offs in the Westport area, as well as copycats and other Marketing Service firms. The most successful spin-off company, Marketing Corporation of America, was founded by Jim McManus in 1971, and grew to be a behemoth of Marketing Services, with Strategy Consulting, Sales Promotion, Market Research, Advertising Agency, Couponing, and even a Venture Capital Arm. At the time of this article in 1982 http://www.inc.com/magazine/19830601/7217.html M.C.A. was still growing rapidly, and ended up also owning car dealerships, restaurants as well as the largest regional airline in the North-East. Just as Glendining had other spin-offs such as the Weston Group, Connecticut Consulting and New England Consulting, so M.C.A. had its own such as the Ryan Partnership, Main Street Partners and others. Quite separately, other Marketing service firms such as Greenfield Consulting, Clancy, Shulman and others, set up shop in the Westport area. Westport still has many Marketing services in the Area, but one could argue that the Hedge Funds and Private Equity firms have taken the pre-eminent position now.