A man with Street Smarts
21 August 1906, Marcel Bleustein was born – a Leo by birth and by nature.
The youngest of nine children and the son of a furniture salesman, nothing predicted his eventual phenomenal success in advertising. Not particularly studious, with average results, Bleustein knew how to “read, write and count.” His favorite past time was running around the streets of Montmartre - “the streets” as he called them, “of common sense.” It was an excellent apprenticeship, one that set him in good stead for the future, and made him a connoisseur of the common man.
In 1926, a young and fiercely independent Bleustein launched Publicis. He was 20 years old.
Yet, Advertising then was not what we know today, and the profession suffered a dubious reputation.
“Advertising is a rotten business but one day I will wipe out the shame.”
In 1927, Marcel Bleustein, undeterred by the somewhat odious reputation of Advertising, made a decision… he was going to turn Advertising into a real profession through Publicis. He would transform it into an ethical industry that had standing, and was properly equipped to gauge public awareness and capture the spirit of the time. Naturally curious, and with a keen, watchful eye, Bleustein dedicated his life to Publicis and what he would call his “mad passion” - until he took his last breath on April 11th 1996.
It was a tumultuous ride that saw Publicis rise from the ashes twice… Dealt a few cruel blows of fate, Bleustein single handedly brought the company back to life, driven by his unfailing passion and love of life.
In 2008, Marcel Bleustein Blanchet received posthumous recognition from his global peers. He was the first non-American to enter the “American Advertising Federation Hall of Fame,” which recognizes the outstanding achievements of leaders in Advertising.
A creative genius and visionary, Marcel Bleustein, was a true pioneer and innovator. Thanks to him, the world was introduced to many firsts: shock slogans, the use of radio and TV to advertise, sponsorships, studies, multimedia approaches, rules and regulations, marketing techniques… things that are as valid today as they were then. Even in our digital era they stand strong. Only the vocabulary has changed. Never has the word “founder” been so apt and rich in meaning.
The story of this exceptional man demonstrates how he set the ground rules not only for Publicis but also for the world of advertising and modern day communications.