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Madison Ave. Exec Joins Blackstone As PE Firms Cleared To Run Ads

  • Shelly Lazarus named to Blackstone Group’s board
  • Worked for decades at major ad firm, Ogilvy & Mather
  • Blackstone’s Schwarzman sees ‘great value’ form firm

Lazarus worked for decades at Ogilvy & Mather, a unit of publicly traded WPP Group, and she serves as chairman emeritus of the agency after taking the CEO job in 1996.

Ogilvy’s ad hits include the American Express Travelers Cheques TV spots featuring actor Karl Malden and the slogan, “Don’t Leave Home Without It,” as well as the Miller Lite “cat fight” commercials.

“Her remarkable understanding of marketing and client management, her pioneering work in advertising, and her broad perspective on business and finance will be of great value to our organization,” Schwarzman said July 9 in a prepared statement.

The addition of Lazarus to Blackstone Group’s board came the same week the SEC paved the way for hedge funds, private equity funds and other asset mangers to use TV, the Internet and other media to reach new investors. The rules are also seen as a boost for small asset managers attempting to compete with bigger competitors.

With Lazarus on board, maybe Blackstone Group will consider a splashy TV campaign or at least some targeted print ads.

Contacted about the SEC’s decision on Wednesday, Blackstone Group spokesman Pete Rose declined to comment.

Private equity firms may not choose to advertise on Madison Avenue’s biggest stage — the annual television broadcast of the Super Bowl — but they won’t be prohibited by law from doing so after the prohibition ban lifts in about 60 days.