Lois Wyse (1926-2007)
Founder, Wyse Advertising
Co-founder and president of Wyse Advertising, Lois Wyse is best-known for writing the legendary line, “With a name like Smucker’s, it has to be good,” which the company has used since the mid-1950s. Her work won every major advertising award, including being named the first Woman of the Year by the Cleveland Advertising Club.
Under her leadership, the agency—founded in Cleveland—became a creative force in New York when she commuted weekly to run Wyse’s New York office opened in 1966. She won significant pieces of business with clients such as Clairol, Seagram’s, American Express, Conde Nast, Gimbels, Maidenform. She also named a small retail chain Bed, Bath and Beyond. Throughout her career, she maintained a high profile, becoming a founding member of the Committee of 200, joining the Women’s Forum, and Catalyst.
Wyse had come to New York early on to seek out and work with significant leaders in advertising such as Herb Lubalin, who she enlisted to design the original Smucker’s campaign and Barry Manilow, who wrote jingles for her clients in Ohio. Over the years, she developed close friendships with advertising legends Bill Bernbach, Julian Koenig and George Lois.
Wyse authored more than sixty books, including poetry, novels, non-fiction and children’s books. Many became best-sellers, including Love Poems for the Very Married. Funny, You Don’t Look Like a Grandmother was #1 on the New York Times Best Seller List, staying on the list for 19 weeks. She adapted it as a musical, co-wrote its lyrics, and the show played nationwide, with a 13-month run at the Santa Monica Playhouse.
Her business books include Mrs. Success, a study of women married to successful businessmen, How to Be Outrageously Successful with Women, a guide for men understanding women in the workforce, Company Manners, an update on business ethics, and The Six Figure Woman, a guide to negotiate for higher pay.
For 13 years, she was a contributing editor of Good Housekeeping magazine. Millions read her monthly column “The Way We Are,” Her writing also appeared in Vogue, Cosmopolitan and Ladies Home Journal.
She served as a director of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City and was on the board of the Consolidated Natural Gas Co. for 19 years, where she founded an chaired the board’s ethics committee. She was also a director of The Higbee Co., the Cleveland department store, until it was sold to Dillard’s. She attended Case Western Reserve University and underwrote a biennial lecture series, “Women’s Voices” in her mother’s name at the university, to bring significant women writers to campus.
Last Updated: January 2018