Ad pioneer Vince Cullers moves to big agency in the sky

Vince Cullers founded Vince Cullers Advertising in 1956, the first black-owned agency, with the daring idea to tailor ad campaigns marketing specifically to black people. He made the bold move of marketing Afro sheen in Swahilii with the tagline "Watu wazuri" (beautiful people). Vince Cullers Advertising enjoyed succes and debuted as the fifth largest firm on the first BE Ad Agencies list in 1973 with $2.5 million in billings, paving the way for many more black owned agencies after his.

"What was fantastic about what Vince did was that he approached corporate America with the idea that rather than integrating black people into a white concept of advertising, advertisers needed to buy into the idea of creating messages that resonated only with black people," says Ken Smikle, president of the Chicago-based research and information company Target Market News.

When Vince fell ill last year his son Jeffery took over the company and reorganized it under the name the Vince Cullers Group.

Comments (1)

  • stephon's picture

    Hi dabitch,

    I am looking for Afro Sheen you have any?



    May 13, 2008

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Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.