Co-Founder, RPA

Gerry Rubin is Co-Founder of RPA, a $1.3 billion full-service advertising agency, the third largest independent agency in the country. He is a native of Evanston, Illinois (as is Keith Crain, also being inducted into the Hall of Fame).

Rubin graduated from the School of Speech at Northwestern University in 1962, his goal was to become an actor. However the allure and possibilities of advertising prevailed when Leo Burnett offered him an entry level position.

He spent six years at Burnett, including a tour of duty in their Toronto office, responsible for their Procter & Gamble business. He came back to Chicago in 1968 to begin an 18-year career with Needham, Harper, initially as an account executive on their Johnson Wax business. Two years later he was promoted to account supervisor and elected as vice-president.

In 1973, Rubin transferred to Needham’s L.A. office for a five-year stint, first as account supervisor on Continental Airlines, then as an account director on their newly-won Honda automotive business. He returned to Needham, Chicago in 1978, as senior vice-president, management representative, responsible for both their Campbell Soup and Armour-Dial accounts. In 1981, Rubin happily went west again as president of Needham’s L.A. office.

When Needham merged into Omnicom in 1986, Rubin and Larry Postaer, his creative director partner, founded Rubin Postaer and Associates, retaining Honda and several other accounts—including their entire staff.

Under Rubin’s watch, the agency established RP-alpha in 1994, representing Honda’s regional marketing efforts out of eight new service offices around the U.S. In 1999, he played a key role in the agency’s win of the Acura account.

Hardly a technoid, Rubin still envisioned the impact of the Internet and in 1995, endorsed the creation of RPA’s Interactive Division. It produced one of the first advertising agency websites and, soon thereafter, the Honda site, arguably a first in the automotive industry. Today, RPA’s Interactive group has grown to more than 100 associates with expertise in every aspect of the digital marketing world.

Rubin is past chairman of both the Southern California chapter of the AAAA and the Western Region 4A’s Board of Governors.
He was a board member of the Country Music Association. In 1990, the Western States Advertising Agencies Association named Rubin and Postaer their Co-Leaders of the Year and, in 2003, the Los Angeles Advertising Agencies Association honored the partners with their first-ever Lifetime Leadership Award.

After serving as president/CEO of RPA since its inception, he became Co-Founder of the agency in 2008.