Bart Cummings joined Compton Advertising in 1947 as an account executive. In 1950 he was elected vice president; ad director in 1952; president in January 1955; chief executive officer in 1956; chairman in 1963; chairman executive committee in 1970. During Cummings’ tenure as CEO, Compton became an international agency.
His peers in the advertising industry recognized Barton Cummings as a prime mover in the building of a better public understanding of the U.S. economic system and advertising’s essential role in it. Cummings saw and encouraged others to recognize the significant role that advertising plays in the economy and also understood that advertising was crucial to the establishment of a free enterprise system in making consumers aware of the goods and services available to them.
To this end, he displayed outstanding leadership in his work with the Advertising Council to develop and promote a campaign on the economic system, for which he was widely acclaimed.
He served the industry as chairman of the American Advertising Federation, the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the Advertising Educational Foundation. He also presided over the James Webb Young Fund at the University of Illinois and was president of the National Advertising Review Council. In each of these positions he worked toward the betterment of advertising both in practice and in the minds of the American public.
Barton Cummings will be remembered as a champion of advertising and free enterprise.
The Barton A. Cummings Gold Medal Award was established by the American Advertising Federation board of directors in 1994 to recognize individuals for their service to advertising through volunteer work with the federation.
The award is named in honor of the late Bart Cummings, whose extraordinary career was dedicated to industry service and to advancing the social and economic values of advertising.