WSJ: Edward H. Meyer, Who Turned Grey Ad Firm Into a Global Player, Dies at 96

Edward H. Meyer, who built what became Grey Global Group into one of the world’s top 10 advertising companies before selling it to Britain’s WPP Group PLC for about $1.75 billion in 2005, died Tuesday at his home in Manhattan. He was 96.

In his 35 years as chief executive, Mr. Meyer transformed Grey from a minor U.S. ad agency into a giant with operations in more than 80 countries. He also diversified it into a broader array of services, including direct marketing and public relations.

“I built my career and the agency on the belief clients come first, and the job of the guy at the head of the agency is to know their needs,” Mr. Meyer told the New York Times in 2006, when he was preparing to retire at the age of 79. “Not what they like for dinner, but their advertising needs, better than anyone at the agency.”

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