Diane Rothschild, a trailblazing copywriter who founded her own ad agency and created pithy and amusing ad campaigns, including some for the Range Rover off-road vehicle and that famous J&B Scotch ’ingle ’ells, ’ingle ’ells ad, died Saturday at her home in Manhattan. She was 63 years old and had battled lung cancer for some time.
Her advertising career spanned nearly four decades, including 14 years as president, founder, and partner at Grace & Rothschild, an offshot agency born with partners from Doyle Dane Bernbach.
Ms. Rothschild was hired as a copywriter by Doyle Dane Bernbach in 1973, and by 1986, she was executive vice president, creative director, and a member of the board. That same year she and Roy Grace, who had been chairman of Doyle Dane Bernbach, formed Grace & Rothschild together.
Among some of her more memorable ad campaigns are the long running J&B print ads that ran for a decade beginning in the late eighties. And this clever sell of the Range Rover where the line “The British have always driven on the wrong side of the road” juxtaposed with an image of the car somehow driving on a steep slope.
She created ads for major companies during her career including I.B.M., Volkswagen, Chivas Regal whiskey, and Mobil Oil. She was inducted into the One Club For Creativity Hall of Fame in 2005, with the honors that she not only "challenged other great ads, she challenged herself."
When she was inducted, she quipped:
“Based on the world according to uninspired, rigid, time-warped and aging advertising men, I should be home right now in a little apron.”
Ms. Rothschild is survived by a daughter, Alexandra Spencer of Sag Harbor, N.Y., her husband, Alan O. Pando and her ex-husband John Spencer.
After she learned that she had lung cancer, Diane harnessed her creative skills to help raise awareness, and money for research. She was elected to the board of the nonprofit Lung Cancer Alliance and soon began advertising calling for increased financial support toward work on early detection of the disease.
One of the campaign’s ads, which ran last year, said: “This lung cancer patient can’t stop smoking. Because she never started.”