Bernard C. Duffy, who headed Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn (BBDO) for 10 years, was a prominent advertising figure for more than a quarter of a century. He was a pioneer in political advertising on television and renowned rainmaker.
Duffy began at a young age in the advertising business and grew with the industry. He joined Barton, Durstine & Osborn as an office boy in 1919. A year later he was promoted to the media department as a space buyer. He continued to grow from head of the media department to vice president and director of media, market research and merchandising after Barton, Durstine & Osborn merged with the George Batten Co.
He became president of BBDO in 1946, was named vice chairman in 1957 and honorary vice chairman of the board of directors before his retirement in 1962.
Duffy is known for the $10 million Lucky Strike account he landed as a young man in the media department. He also made a comprehensive study which resulted in General Motors’ spending $800,000 a year for three years in small-town newspapers.
Duffy was the author of several books, including The World’s Greatest 99 Days and Advertising Media and Markets, of which a revision, Profitable Advertising in Today’s Media and Markets was later published.