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Three significant supporters and past board chairs of The Advertising Research Foundation (The ARF) have recently departed.
Rena Bartos, former ARF Board Chair (1985) passed away on April 22, 2014, at 96 years old. Rena was the former president of the New York-based Rena Bartos Company. She was senior vice president of communications development at JWT in New York, where she began the studies of the changing role of women and its implications for advertising, both in the U.S. and internationally, in which she had been engaged for over 20 years. She was the author of many articles, published in the Harvard Business Review, and elsewhere.
Frank Gomer, former ARF Board Chair (1979-1980) passed away on May 10, 2014, at 88 years old. Frank joined the advertising agency Foote, Cone & Belding in 1947 and spent his entire 40-year career with that company. Over the years he was research director, media director, director of marketing services, and chairman of the agency’s strategy board. He was a senior vice president and corporate director of media when he retired in 1986. Frank was active in many advertising and other organizations during his career. He was a founding member of the Media Directors’ Council and its first president. He served on the Media Policy Committee of the American Association of Advertising Agencies and was a member of the Radio and Television Research Council. He was a member of the board and on the executive committee of Advertising Information Services for over 20 years.
Paul Chook, former ARF Board Chair (1983) passed away on May 23, 2014. Paul's professional career spanned a period of over 40 years in the advertising and publishing business. He specialized in marketing and advertising research to guide planners in media evaluation and advertising development. Paul served as president of Alfred Politz Media Studies, president of W.R. Simmons Research, vice president of Young & Rubicam, and executive vice president of Ziff-Davis Publishing and the CBS Magazine Division. Paul was a director and board chairman of The Advertising Research Foundation, a member of the Market Research Council and was elected to the MRC Hall of Fame. He is an alumnus of Columbia University (Graduate School of Business) and the City College of New York (Baruch School), where he also taught undergraduate and graduate courses in statistical methods and analysis over a period of 12 years.
Nick Schiavone, strategic media, marketing, and measurement business consultant and long-term affiliate and supporter of The ARF shared “I knew all three in a personal and professional way (in fact, Mr. Gromer was my father-in-law). All three were people of immeasurable integrity, intelligence, and accomplishment—sung and unsung. All three loved their profession of advertising research and made extraordinary contributions to the practice of the art and science we call advertising research. All three were for the most part quiet, soft-spoken and self-effacing.”
Schiavone continued by reinforcing the significance of these three figures to The ARF’s history and foundation by declaring “May The ARF always aim for the high standards for which those three wonderful chairpersons stood. How blessed we all have been to know them and work with them in the singular collegial undertaking that is The ARF.”
Our heartfelt wishes for peace and comfort go out to their families and may they rest in peace.
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