December 17, 1923 – March 25, 2013
F. Glenn Verrill, Leading Atlanta Advertising Executive, Dies at 89
Mr. Verrill, a Copywriter turned Advertising Executive, who led the region’s largest advertising agency, BDA/BBDO, throughout the 1970’s and 80’s, and served on the BBDO International Board of Directors when it created The Omnicom Group, now the world's second-largest advertising holding company, died Monday, March 25 of pneumonia.
Born December 17, 1923, in New York City, Glenn was academically oriented and musically inclined from a young age. He graduated from New York City’s Stuyvesant High School for the Arts and then served with the U.S.A.A.F. in the Pacific Ocean Theater of World War II from 1943-1946. Upon returning home from the war, he married Jean Demar in 1946, a union that would last 58 years. He attained his Bachelor of Arts from Adelphi College in 1949 and his Master of Education from Harvard University in 1950. During this period and prior to his entering the advertising industry, Glenn was a professional Bass player, and was a familiar fixture in Manhattan’s many jazz clubs of the day, including stints with The Glenn Miller Orchestra.
In 1952, Glenn started as a copywriter at the only company he would ever work for, BBDO, Inc., then, and still, one of the world’s premier advertising agencies. Within 12 years, Glenn had advanced to the position of Vice President, Creative Director in the New York office when he was offered what he considered the opportunity of a lifetime. Pulling up stakes and moving to Atlanta in 1964 to take the position of V.P., Creative Director of Burke Dowling Adams, Inc. a recently acquired BBDO subsidiary, Glenn settled down and made Atlanta his home, along with his wife Jean and their two children, for the remainder of his life.
Glenn became Executive Vice President, General Manager of the agency in 1970 and was named President in 1971, when the firm was renamed BDA/BBDO. He led the agency through a tremendous period of growth for the next 17 years, during which time he also served on the parent company’s Board of Directors at BBDO International, and then on the Board of Directors of The Omnicom Group, formed from the merger of BBDO International, Doyle, Dane, Bernbach and Needham Harper Steers, from its formation in 1986 until his retirement in 1988.
Glenn created award-winning campaigns for a wide variety of clients, including Gillette, Schaefer Beer, TWA, Air France, Standard Oil, C&S Bank, Dodge Motors and Delta Air Lines, including Delta’s long-running theme, ‘Delta Is Ready When You Are’. Glenn was the recipient of numerous creative awards, including national Clios, Addys and Tellys. After becoming President, Glenn returned to his educational roots, authoring three consecutive editions of Advertising Procedure, the nation’s leading university textbook on the industry.
A staunch supporter of the Atlanta Arts community, Glenn served as a Docent with both The High Museum of Art and The Michael C. Carlos Museum, something he enjoyed doing with his wife after retirement, as Jean was active with The High for 40 years. He was also a member of The High Museum’s Director’s Circle and served on the committee for Acquisitions.
His community and industry work also included a term as President of The Atlanta Humane Society and as a member of their board, member of the Peabody Awards Committee, Director of The Better Business Bureau of Atlanta and Director of the American Association of Advertising Agencies.
Glenn’s wife Jean passed away in 2004. He is survived by his son Gary, daughter Joan and husband Kari Seppala, his two grandchildren, Kristofer and Sergei, and his brother Ralph.
Arrangements by H.M. Patterson & Son, 404-876-1022. Online condolences may be made at hmpattersonspringhill.com. Visiting hours from 5-7PM on Monday, April 1 at H.M. Patterson & Son, Spring Hill, 1020 Spring Street. A Memorial Service is planned for 2PM on Tuesday, April 2 at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, Northside Parkway & Moores Mill Rd., followed by a reception in the Parish Hall.
Donations may be made, in lieu of flowers, to St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, 3098 St. Anne’s Ln. NW, Atlanta, GA 30327.
- Funeral Service Tuesday, April 2, 2013
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July 6, 2013
I met Glenn once. I came to BBDO New York as a new writer trying to break into the business in 1974. I remember him as being very nice and very helpful, and very complimentary of my father who he worked with at BBDO, NY in the 1950's. Glenn was a prince of a man. The best. He will be in my prayers. His family will always be in my thoughts. bill force
April 2, 2013
Bill thought the world of Glenn, and Glenn taught him so much at BDA. I'm sure they're "up there" now getting the next Delta ad ready to go...
April 1, 2013
To Joan and Gary -- I am so sorry for you loss. I have very fond memories of my time at BDA/BBDO and especially your dad. He challenged me but made me a better person. He had a big impact on my career. I hope life is treating you well. Peace.
April 1, 2013
I remember when Mr and Mrs Verrill drove down to south Georgia with my parents for our wedding. They were such outstanding people and will be missed.
April 1, 2013
I met Glenn at the Atria Buckhead when I played a concert there in January of this year. In a very few minutes of talking with him after the concert I discovered what a sincere and generous man he was. I was so impressed to hear he had played with the Glenn Miller Band, and extremely grateful for his appreciation of my efforts at the concert. I am very sorry I did not have the chance to get to know him better. I would have liked to have had him for a friend. If he could have this effect on me in a few minutes, he must have had many friends, and from my experience he was a wonderful gift to the world. I am so sorry for your loss.
March 30, 2013
The loss of someone so close is difficult to bear. Easter offers hope to those who grieve.
March 30, 2013
My sympathy to Glenn's family. He was a wonderful person. He was always willing to help in any way he could. We worked together on the board of The High Museum and we will miss his insightful input.
Clara & John O'Shea
March 29, 2013
Our sympathy is with Glenn's family on the loss of this remarkable person. We knew him over the past dozen years as a Docent t the Michael C. Carlos Museum.
March 28, 2013
Glenn was an amazingly talented, giving and wonderful person. He will be missed by many. I am grateful that I knew him. My sympathies to his entire family.
FROM THE FAMILY
IN THE CARE OF