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Obituary: Laurel Cutler

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发表于 12-11-2021 11:13:58 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
本帖最后由 choi 于 12-11-2021 11:45 编辑

James A Hagerty, Accidental 'Futurist' Advised Owners of Global Brands. Wall Street Journal, Dec 11, 2021, at page A12 (under the heading "Laurel Cutler 1926-2021" in the obituary column that is published every Saturday)
https://www.wsj.com/articles/rel ... r-trade-11639148402

Quote:

(a) "Laurel Cutler, a philosophy major at Wellesley College, briefly tried to launch herself as a novelist in the 1940s. * * * When the need to earn a living intervened, however, she drifted into advertising and discovered a talent for writing ad copy. Later she thrived at devising ad campaigns, introducing new products and forecasting consumer trends as a 'futurist.'  Searching through an Italian-English dictionary, she spotted 'prego' and declared it the ideal name for a pasta sauce created by Campbell Soup Co [in 1981]. Chrysler Corp Chairman Lee Iacocca was so impressed with her branding insights that he appointed her vice president for consumer affairs at the auto maker in 1988, though she didn't have a driver's license. That Chrysler job briefly made her nearly as prominent as her older brother, Lloyd Cutler, a lawyer who advised both and Republican administrations. * * * Ms Cutler, who died Nov 28 at the age of 94 * * *

(b) "A car tire maker once showed her a pink tire designed to appeal to women. She informed the client that women were looking for safety and reliability from their tires, not bright colors.

"Ms Cutler believed in her hunches and observations -- and scoffed at those who relied too heavily on data to predict trends. 'There is no data on the future,' she said.

"Laurel Eve Cutler was born Dec 8, 1926, in New York City. Her father Aaron Smith Cutler, was a trial lawyer and partner of Fiorello La Guardia (who served as mayor in the 1930s and '40s). Her mother, Donothy Glaser [maiden name] Cutler, had graduated from Hunter College with a math degree. It was, Ms Cutler wrote later, a 'high-achieving family.'

"As a child, Laurel was a radio [there was no tv back then] performer, singing at children's hour and competing on a quiz show. At 15m she enrolled at Wellesley, where she was later voted the ' second wittiest' in her class. Her professor included Vladimir Nabokov.

Ms Cutler wrote an unpublished novel and, after graduation, briefly worked for the Washington Post. 'There were no jobs for philosophy majors,' she found. 'and damn few for English majors,;So she took a job at the ad agency J Walter Thompson * * *

(c) " * * * She worked at McCann-Erickson before being recruited by a smaller rival, Leber Katz Partner, where she rose to vice chairman * * * Foote, Cone & Belding Communications Inc acquired Leber Katz in 1986. She remained employed by Foote Cone's Leber Katz unit while working for Chrysler from late 1988 through 1990, shuttling between offices in Detroit and New York.

Note:
(a)
(i) I did not hear of her until today. But I wondered about the name of Prego sauce. (I do not like pasta sauce, and seldom eat it.)
(ii) Italian-English dictionary:
* prego (noun masculine): "prayer"
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/prego
(iii) Both prego in Italian and noun prayer (as well as adjective precarious) in English ultimately come from Latin noun feminine prex prayer.

(b)
(i) Cutler is an English surname.
(A) English dictionary:
* cutler (n): "a person who makes or sells cutlery"
https://www.lexico.com/definition/cutler
* cutlery (mass noun [uncountable] ): "knives, forks, and spoons used for eating or serving food"
https://www.lexico.com/definition/cutlery
(ii) The English surname foote is "for someone with a peculiarity or deformity of the foot, from Middle English fot (Old English fot)."

(c)
(i) "writing ad copy"
(A) "Copywriting is the act or occupation of writing text for the purpose of advertising or other forms of marketing." en.wikipedia.org for copywriting.

The emphasis is text – in an ad.
(B) copy (v): "from Latin [noun feminine] copia plenty"
https://www.etymonline.com/word/copy

(ii)  Lloyd Cutler
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lloyd_Cutler
(1917-2005; White House Counsel during the Democratic administrations of Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton)
(iii) Campbell Soup Company
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campbell_Soup_Company
(was started in 1869 by Joseph A. Campbell; through mergers and acquisitions, presently includes brands "like Pepperidge Farm, Snyder's of Hanover, V8, and Swanson [broth]; is headquartered in Camden, New Jersey)
(iv) Vladimir Nabokov
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Nabokov
(1899 – 1977; born in Saint Petersburg, went to Berlin, came to America in 1940; as a lecturer (not profesor) taught at Wellesley College in 1941-1942, 1944-1945, 1947–1948, followed by teaching at Cornell University (Ithaca) 1948-1956; published Lolita in 1955)
(A) He is not Jewish but his wife was.
(B) Lolita is the nickname of an American 12-year-old girl, Dolores Haze -- a fictional character. The book implied the first-person narrator, the stepfather of Lolita, molested or had some kind of relationship with Lolita after her mother (and wife of the narrator) died. I read snippets of the book, which did not say anything (at least explicitly) about what was going on between the narrator and Lolita. So I do not know what the fuss, or fame, was about.


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