Los Angeles Ad Agency Legend Peter Dailey Dies at 87 in Pasadena

Published : Tuesday, March 20, 2018 | 6:21 PM

Pasadena resident Peter Dailey, who founded Los Angeles-based agency Dailey and Associates in 1968, died Saturday, March 17, at his home. He was 87.

Dailey co-founder and former CEO Cliff Einstein announced Dailey’s passing Tuesday in a memo circulated among agency staff.

“Fifty years after Pete created Dailey and Associates, we continue to proudly use his name and we continue to be this generation of his associates,” Einstein wrote in the memo, published by AdWeek Wednesday. “Pete set a standard of excellence and values that has been the heart and soul of our company since we opened our doors at the beginning of 1968.”

Einstein recalled how he met Dailey in 1964 when Dailey was an account executive and he was a kid writer at Foote, Cone and Belding. He said they met again about two weeks ago at the memorial service for a common friend, John Gavin.

“I gave him my business card and it said, ‘Dailey.’ Pete looked at it a long time and I knew he knew his original dream was still alive,” Einstein wrote.

Along with Jay Chiat and others, Dailey was one of the pioneers of the Los Angeles advertising scene.

Before founding his own company where he served as chairman and CEO, Dailey worked at Foote, Cone and Belding and Campbell Ewald. IPG (Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc.) acquired Dailey in 1983 when it was still the world’s largest holding group; the agency regained its independence last year after completing a buyback.

In addition to his career in advertising, Dailey was very active in Republican politics, serving as media advisor to Richard Nixon during the 1972 presidential election and Ronald Reagan in the 1980 election. Reagan appointed him as ambassador to Ireland in 1982 and special presidential envoy to NATO countries for intermediate nuclear weapons negotiations the following year. Dailey went on to serve as counselor to CIA director of central intelligence William Casey from 1985 to 1988.

Dailey also served as a member of of the General Advisory Committee of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency from 1987 to 1992 under President Reagan and President George H.W. Bush. Later in life, he was a board member for the U.S. National Park Foundation, the 4A’s, the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, Chicago Title and Trust Company and the American Irish Foundation.

“He believed we could be excellent and demanding yet forgiving,” Einstein wrote in his memo announcing Dailey’s passing. “He required a competitive spirit but he understood that life is more than work. He thought big and from the beginning labeled us an international advertising agency. His word was a contract. His employees were his partners.”







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