In 1956, Vincent T. Cullers set out to change the industry. Specifically, to make it wake up and pay attention to a market it had been underserving for long enough. He left his job as an art director at Ebony magazine to form the Cullers Agency with his wife, Marian, and Emmitt McBaine. Its purpose was to recruit and train young African-Americans seeking careers in advertising in Chicago, where Cullers was known as “The Dean” of black advertising.
Targeted marketing has found its way into the mainstream, and black culture is now playing the role of cultural catalyst and trend initiator for the world. It all started with Vince Cullers, and we should not forget that.
-Tom Burrell, Chairman-CEO, Burrell Communications Group, Chicago
The Cullers Agency dedicated itself to addressing the need for marketing targeted to ethnic consumers, fueled by a passion for showing minorities positive images of themselves in national advertising. It did so with campaigns for Johnson Products Co.’s Afro Sheen, Amoco Oil Co., Ameritech, Kellogg Co., and Sears, Roebuck & Co., among others.