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Wallace A. Ross

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Wallace A. Ross 1959

Wallace A. Ross (1923–1974) was the founder of The Clio Awards. He was an advertising executive in New York City from the late 1940s through the early 1970s [1] and was responsible for improving the quality, creativity, and innovation of American television and radio advertising during the "Mad Men" era.


Ross attended Cornell University on the G.I. Bill, and graduated in 1944, after serving in the Philippines as an Infantry First Lieutenant and War Correspondent in WWII. At Cornell he was the co-editor of the university newspaper, the Cornell Daily Sun.[2]

Early career

After college, Ross worked as a publicist for Madison Square Garden, and as the Promotions Manager of the Schwerin Research Corporation[3] in New York City (quality testing of programs and commercials for leading broadcast advertisers), as well as the publicist for the International Swimming Pool Company and its president, Esther Williams.[4] During this time he also served as the Vice President of Box Office Television, Inc.[5][6][7] the closed circuit large screen theater and hotel television production company headed by Sid Caesar.

The Ross Reports

Cover of Ross Reports, May 1952

In 1949 Ross founded The Ross Reports, a monthly digest that compiled information on casting directors, agents, managers, production companies, and upcoming film and television productions for the NYC theater and television community.[8][9] Ross was the publisher and editor of The Ross Reports until 1954.

Film Producers Association

In 1954 Ross became one of the founding members and the Executive Director of the Film Producers Association of New York.[10] The FPA was an association of a number of New York City producers of documentaries, industrial films, and commercials, formed for easier negotiation with trade unions involved in the production of films.[11] The FPA entered their films in the annual Cannes International Advertising Festival every year until 1959, when Ross founded the American Television Commercials Festival and Clio Awards that same year.

Clio Awards

In 1959, Ross founded the American Television Commercials Festival and The Clio Awards,[12][13] and he served as the Managing Director of the Festival until 1971.[14] The name "Clio" means the proclaimer, glorifier and celebrator of accomplishments, and is the name of the Ancient Greek Muse of History. The design of the statuette given to winners of the Clio was inspired by the Brancusi sculpture called "Bird in Space," which Ross originally viewed at the New York Museum of Modern Art.[15] Ross held a contest to choose the name for the statue, and "Clio" was the name suggested by a Professor of Classics. The statuette was designed by Georg Olden, VP of McCann Erickson's Center for Advanced Practice.

International Advertising Association

In 1973, Ross became the Executive Director of the International Advertising Association,[16] a position he held until his death one year later.


  • Editor and Publisher, Clio Awards Magazine, 1960–71.
  • Editor and Publisher, Best TV Commercials of the Year, 1967; Hastings House Publishers, NY. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 66030413.[17]
  • Editor and Publisher, Best TV and Radio Commercials of the Year, Vol. 2; 1968, Hastings House Publishers, NY.


  1. ^ "Wallace Ross Dies at 52; Led Ad Association Here". The New York Times. 1974-09-04. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-12-22.
  2. ^ "Cornell Daily Sun Suspends". The New York Times. 1943-10-29. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-12-22.
  3. ^ Fothergill and Ehrenberg (August 1965). "On the Schwerin Analyses of Advertising Effectiveness". Journal of Marketing Research. 2 (3): 298–306. doi:10.2307/3150190. JSTOR 3150190.
  4. ^ Zipser, Alfred R. (1956-05-19). "ESTHER WILLIAMS NOW SELLS POOLS; Movieland's Swimming Star in Personal Appearances to Push Backyard Models 100 Sold at Coliseum 35,000 Now in Use Sold Through Dealers". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-12-22.
  5. ^ "The Billboard Magazine, Television section". February 5, 1955. p. 2.
  6. ^ Ross, Wallace. "Box Office Television Press Release".
  7. ^ "3 Broadway Plays Theatre-Bound Via TV; Closed-Circuit Shows Will Bypass the City". The New York Times. 1954-09-08. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-12-22.
  8. ^ "Call Sheet (formerly Ross Reports) | Samuel French". Retrieved 2015-12-22.
  9. ^ "Call Sheet by Backstage (formerly the ROSS REPORT) | The Drama Book Shop, Inc". Retrieved 2015-12-22.
  10. ^ Freeman, William M. (1955-03-13). "News of the Advertising and Marketing Fields". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-12-14.
  11. ^ "ZUCKER NAMED HEAD OF FILM GROUP HERE". The New York Times. 1958-02-08. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-12-22.
  12. ^ Ross, Wallace (1965). "Clio Awards Press Release". Wallace A. Ross Archives.
  13. ^ Sloane, Leonard (1966-09-08). "Advertising: Long Break for Commercials". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-12-22.
  14. ^ Dougherty, Philip H. (1971-10-07). "Media/International Closing". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-12-22.
  15. ^ "Constantin Brancusi. Bird in Space. 1928 | MoMA". Retrieved 2015-12-22.
  16. ^ Stamler, Bernard (2001-05-25). "THE MEDIA BUSINESS: ADVERTISING – ADDENDA; Leadership Changes At Industry Association". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-12-22.
  17. ^ Ross, Wallace A. (1967-01-01). Best TV commercials of the year. New York: Distributed by Hastings House.
  • International Advertising Association:
  • TV Guide #957, "The Clio Awards," by Neil Hickey; July 31 – Aug 6, 1971; page 4.
  • "On the Schwerin Analyses of Advertising Effectiveness"; J. E. Fothergill and A. S. C. Ehrenberg; Journal of Marketing Research; Vol. 2, No. 3 (Aug., 1965), pp. 298–306: JSTOR 3150190
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Wallace A. Ross
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