Tom Dillon served as one of the advertising industry's most effective and beloved spokesmen. His eloquent and sage speeches succeeded in projecting to the industry, government and general public a positive image of advertising.
Dillon was named chairman of the board of directors of BBDO International Inc. in 1975 after 40 years of dedication to the company. He was first hired as a copywriter, soon moving into other areas of the agency business. He left his creative imprint in media, research, marketing, the treasurer's office and finally as president, chief executive officer and chairman of BBDO.
He was instrumental in creating the first computer-based mathematical model for media selection, which served as a model for many companies in the industry. He also revamped research operations, with the aim of being more responsive to the needs of those creating advertisements.
Tom Dillon was one of the chief industry presenters before the Federal Trade Commission on its "Case for Advertising" in 1971. His bold and lucid testimony served to educate both the American government and its people on the advertising business.
In his famous "Freedom Must Advertise, " Dillon argued, "To exercise true freedom of choice, you've got to know what you've got a choice of. That is the function of advertising."
Tom Dillion also created the Advertising Hall of Fame trophy inscription, which reads, "If we can see further, it is because we stand on the rungs of a ladder built by those who came before us."