Ted Bates devoted his entire working life to advertising. His ability to sell things over his 48-year career in advertising made him one of the most respected and influential leaders in the profession. He believed that ads came first, a sentiment expressed when he said, "I just don't crave to see my name in the paper...My job is to sell things, not get publicity for myself."
Before founding his own agency in 1940, he served as advertising manager for Chase National Bank; a copywriter, account executive and vice-president with BBDO and vice president and director of Benton & Bowles. Bates also served on the board of the Advertising Council, persuading the networks of early television to carry the Council's public service messages.
His influence was deep and wide-ranging. He was a leader in the development of integrated product, market and consumer research. His agency's pioneering use of television set patterns and standards throughout the field. He was known for his stable, full-partner relationships with both his associates and clients.
"I want people around here with the greatest personal integrity," he said. "If I have that, I will not be concerned about work habits or the quality of service to our clients."
Ted Bates was a brilliant leader, an innovator and an advertising visionary. Most importantly, he was a salesman, as reflected by his agency's growth into the fifth largest in his lifetime.