Ed Ney, former Y&R
Chairman and Chairman Emeritus, died Wednesday. He was 88. Ney served as Y&R's CEO and then Chairman from 1970 to 1989, having joined the agency in 1951. He returned to Y&R in 1999 as Chairman
Ney was one of the industry’s leading lights for decades. In the 1970s, Ney was among the first to understand that in a changing marketplace clients would benefit from a full range of marketing communications disciplines. He began acquiring companies, pioneering integrated communications -- what he then coined The Whole Egg -- and acquired the companies that became Young & Rubicam Group.
Martin Sorrell, Chairman and CEO of WPP, Y&R’s parent company, stated: "Ed understood, probably more than anybody else, both the power of agency brands and, at the same time the paradoxical need to bring them together. Y&R itself, Wunderman, Burson-Marsteller, Cohn & Wolfe, Sudler & Hennessey, Landor, amongst others all exemplify the strength and need for the "Whole Egg" approach. He understood it all and saw it sooner than most."
After Y&R, Ney served as the U.S. Ambassador to Canada, where he played a key role in efforts to expand the U.S. - Canada Free Trade Agreement to Mexico.
He then spent some time at Burson-Marsteller where in 1995, he became Chairman of Marsteller Advertising.
During his long career at Young & Rubicam, he continued to shape the firm’s diversified global communications framework. “When I started at Y&R in 1976, it was in the golden days of Ed Ney's tenure,” said David Sable, global CEO of Y&R. “His charm was magnetic; his generosity, magnanimous. Ed was known to walk the building, where he talked to everyone he passed, knew everyone's name and always had a question or kind observation to share. His idea that we should integrate communications… changed the course of the industry.”
Ney served on the International Advisory Board of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (C.S.I.S.), was a member of the Advertising Hall of Fame, and an Honorary Chairman of The Advertising Council. He served as a Trustee of The Paley Center for Media and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In addition, he received the Gold Medal (for Advertising) from the International Radio & Television Society in 1989.
Ney is survived by his wife, Patricia Murray Wood. He has three children from a previous marriage, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.