O. Burtch Drake has had an extensive and celebrated career in advertising spanning 47 years. Most recently, he served as President-CEO of the AAAA (presently referred to as the 4A’s), joining the association in 1989 as Executive Vice President-COO. On February 1, 1994, he was named President-CEO, a post he held until his retirement April 1, 2008. Under his leadership, the association initiated numerous new programs and national conferences including the Media, Creative, New Business, Account Planning and Financial/HR Conferences. He also established the CEO Forum Program, Operation Jumpstart Minority Scholarship Program, the Executive Leadership Training Program, Value of Advertising Programs, the O’Toole Creative Awards and Ad-ID, the digital identification system for advertising.
Mr. Drake was one of the founders of New York’s Advertising Week and served as its President-CEO during its first four years. He also was a Director of the Advertising Council, the Partnership for a Drug Free America, the AAAA Foundation, AAAA Insurance, Ltd., the National Advertising Review Council, the Advertising Educational Foundation and Curesearch for Children’s Cancer.
With 26 years of agency experience, Mr. Drake held senior management positions at two of the association’s global agencies: Dancer Fitzgerald Sample (now Saatchi & Saatchi) and Foote Cone & Belding (now Draft/FCB). He started in media at DFS-New York in 1961. By 1987, he was President of FCB/Europe, based in London.
He served as President of DFS-San Francisco from 1981-1984 and as President of FCB/Leber Katz Partners in New York from 1985-1987. He also spent two years in London on the client side as European Area Director for Life Savers, Inc.
Mr. Drake attended the University of Virginia, served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve and is the father of four children. He and his wife Debbie now reside in Carefree, Arizona.
In 2012, Mr. Drake was elected to the AAF’s Advertising Hall of Fame, a distinction awarded in 1984 to his copywriter father, Owen Burtch “Obie” Winters.