Jerry Della Femina
Chairman, CEO and Executive Creative Director, Della Femina Advertising
Advertising Age named Jerry Della Femina one of the "100 Most Influential Advertising People of the Century." This honor was simply confirmation of an already accepted fact within the industry—and outside of it.
For years he was the most sought-after advertising expert in the country, and Della Femina has appeared in almost every major television network, magazine and newspaper. He is the winner of Lions from Cannes, Good Keys for copywriting, Clios, Andys and just about every creative award in the advertising business. He also was chosen to be head judge at the Cannes Advertising Festival.
He co-founded Della Femina Travisano & Partners in 1967. The agency grew to become one of the top 20 agencies in the U.S. with billings over $800 million. DFT&P (later named Della Femina McNamee) produced some of the most successful advertising running during the “advertising creative revolution,” building successful brands such as Beck’s Beer, Isuzu and Blue Nun Wine. In fact, some of the work is still running today: Meow Mix and Dow Bathroom Cleaner (“Scrubbing Bubbles”).
Meow Mix (“Singing Cat”) and Isuzu (“Joe Isuzu”) have been chosen by Advertising Age as two of the most creative campaigns in the history of advertising.
After selling his agency in 1987, Della Femina re-entered the advertising business with Newsweek magazine as the flagship account of his new agency, Jerry Inc. His current agency, Della Femina Advertising, handles such notable clients as Catholic Health Services of Long Island; St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center; Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center; TiVo Inc.; Frederick Wildman & Sons; Wakefern Food Corp. and Fujistu, to name a few.
Della Femina has written one of the three best-selling books in the history of advertising, From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor. David Ogilvy and Rosser Reeves authored the other two. From Those Wonderful Folks is still required reading at many universities and has been credited by many as the book that inspired them to start a career in advertising.
In 2008, Della Femina was inducted into The Creative Hall of Fame.
In addition, Della Femina was honored by the CJ Foundation for his agency’s work over many years on SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) prevention. Armed with the information that placing a child face-up in a crib decreases the chance of SIDS by as much as 50%, his agency created the “Face Up To Wake Up” campaign, which resulted in a dramatic decrease in the number of SIDS cases.
His agencies have also created pro bono advertising for such community-minded entities as the United Way, the Hemophilia Foundation, the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Ad Council, the Newspaper Association of America, We Care About New York, and many others.
Della Femina’s philanthropical efforts also extended to the east end of Long Island, when he and his wife began hosting the annual benefit for Body Positive, an organization offering support for those affected by AIDS. Hundreds of people attended the annual event at the Della Femina home, including, most poignantly, couples who had lost a child to AIDS and wanted to connect with others facing similar losses.
Della Femina also writes a weekly column, “Jerry’s Ink,” for The Independent, a newspaper he owns. His column has won several “Best Humor” Awards from the Press Club of Long Island, a Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
Della Femina was born in Brooklyn and attended Brooklyn College. He received honorary doctorates from the University of Missouri in 1983 and Long Island University in 1989.
He and his wife, Judy Licht, a television news reporter, have two children: a daughter, Jessie, and a son, James. From a previous marriage, he has three children, Donna, Michael and Jodi, and seven grandchildren. The Della Femina family resides in New York City and Bridgehampton.
Last Updated: January 2017