Former Vice President, J. Walter Thompson Company

Helen Lansdowne Resor will be remembered particularly in two capacities, for her work as a copywriter (she was described by the New York Herald Tribune as the greatest copywriter of her generation) and for her work as vice president of the J. Walter Thompson Company.

Her major achievements were accomplished during her years at the J. Walter Thompson Company, where she produced such famed ads as the Woodbury Soap campaign, "A Skin You Love to Touch," which is often referenced as the first ad to use sex appeal in an advertisement. She revolutionized endorsement advertising by persuading society leaders and even royalty to appear in her Pond’s Cold Cream ads, changing the tone of the medium. She was also the first woman to be successful in writing and planning national, as opposed to retail, advertising, making sure that her advertising reflected the feminine point of view.

Her creative, dynamic mind was constantly suggesting new approaches to advertising. Peggy King commented on her genius saying, "[S}he had a dozen ideas to the minute." Ever committed to her work and the success of J. Walter Thompson, she was at one point the supervisor for two-thirds of the business handled by her firm’s New York and Boston offices.

She was also instrumental in the advancement of women in the field, employing talented young writers and using her influence in paving the way for those to come. Heavily involved in the New York suffragist movement, she and her female employees marched in the celebration parade after President Wilson signed into law a woman’s right to vote.

Resor had a long history of public service — she was a president of the Traveler’s Aid Society, through which gave shelter to homeless women during the Depression, and supported such institutions as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Radcliffe College and Planned Parenthood.