Robert J. Coen, a long-time Interpublic
executive who was Madison Avenue’s de facto bean counter for more than six decades, died Nov. 18, 2016 at his home in West Orange, NJ, according to an obituary in The Star-Ledger
. He was 93.
Coen, who officially retired as
Interpublic’s director of forecasting in 2009, was known to still frequent the agency’s offices in recent years.
Coen, who was Madison Avenue’s first and
best known industry forecaster, had a career spanning 12 presidencies, which actually preceded the formation of Interpublic. Coen joined McCann-Erickson in 1948, 13 years before its parent holding
company Interpublic was incorporated.
He became the industry’s first forecaster as part of McCann-Erickson’s long-time role studying the effects advertising
had on the
U.S. and the global economy. The agency has estimates on ad spending volume going back to 1776.
“Bob was a true pioneer, whose ad spending forecast was not only a first for our
industry, but endures as an authoritative economic barometer to this day. Even though he was known as ‘Madison Avenue’s chief seer,’ Bob remained a soft-spoken and thoughtful
presence. We extend our deepest condolences to Bob’s family, and our thanks for the 61 years he worked with IPG,” stated Philippe Krakowsky, Chairman of IPG Mediabrands.