David Bell, an industry leader in marketing communications, is chairman emeritus of the Interpublic Group, among the world's largest marketing communications and services companies.
Following the True North-Interpublic merger, Mr. Bell served as vice chairman with leadership responsibility for two operating divisions: The Partnership, and later, Advanced Marketing Services. Prior to the merger Mr. Bell was chairman and chief executive officer of True North Communications Inc., the world's sixth largest global advertising and marketing communications holding company. Under his leadership, True North global brands expanded the company's competitiveness while significantly improving True North shareholder value in just two years. He also established a culture of collaboration for clients across True North brands, significantly driving organic growth.
Before his appointment to CEO of True North, Bell led Bozell Worldwide as president and chief executive officer. During his career at Bozell, the agency grew from $12 million to over $500 million in revenue. He came to Bozell in 1975, when the agency acquired Knox Reeves Advertising, where he had been president since 1972. Prior to that, he was an executive vice president; the agency's youngest vice president; and an account executive. Bell began his career at Leo Burnett in its Executive Development Program.
A 1965 graduate of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., Bell was president of the student body and a champion debater. Later becoming the college's youngest trustee, he received both the Macalester College Distinguished Alumni Award and its Charter Centennial Medallion.
David Bell serves the industry as immediate past chairman of the Advertising Council. Concurrently he also gives his time and expertise as chairman emeritus of the Advertising Educational Foundation and chairman of PRO-AD PAC, the industry's Political Action Committee. Throughout his career Mr. Bell has held key industry leadership positions including chairman of the American Association of Advertising Agencies from 1996–97 and two-time chairman of the American Advertising Federation.
He serves on the board of directors of Primedia Inc., Warnaco Inc., DHB Industries Inc. and the Partnership for New York. In addition, he is chairman of the National Forest Foundation and a past trustee of the Convent of the Sacred Heart school in New York City and of the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
David Bell lives in Manhattan with his wife, Gail, an actress, their son Andrew who is in high school and their daughter, Ashley, a graduate of Yale.