Janet L. Wolff

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Janet L. Wolff
Born(1920-02-21)February 21, 1920
DiedJuly 29, 2014(2014-07-29) (aged 94)
OccupationAdvertising executive

Janet L. Wolff (born Janet Loeb); February 21, 1920 – July 29, 2014) was an American advertising executive who was a key figure at J. Walter Thompson Co. (JWT) and William Esty Co.

Early life[edit]

Wolff was born on February 21, 1920, in San Francisco. She attended Castilleja School before moving to New York City as a teenager, where she attended Finch College and Wood Tobé-Coburn School and began to study fashion and marketing. She moved with her mother to Paris in the mid-1930s and attended The Sorbonne. After returning to New York before World War II, she worked for Macy's, and while there entered a New York Sun Father's Day card competition. Her entry led to many job offers in advertising.[1]


Wolff was the youngest vice president at JWT[2] and led many clients into television advertising. After 15 years at JWT, she left for William Esty Co. At the two companies she led a number of successful campaigns, including Datsun's "We are Driven"; Irish Spring's "The manly soap that women like, too"; Nabisco's "American Cookie Jar"; Noxzema Shave Cream's "Take it off, take it all off" and Vaseline Intensive Care's "dry leaf demonstration."[2]

Wolff was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame in 1998.[3][2]

Wolff's influential 1958 book What Makes Women Buy[4] led to a number of other books, including co-authoring the Lifetrends series.[1] She authored eight books in all.[2]

Family and later life[edit]

In 1945[1] or 1946[5] she married Dr. James Wolff, a pioneer in pediatric hematology and oncology.[5]

Wolff died in Pompano Beach, Florida in 2014.[1] Her husband predeceased her in 2012. She was survived by four children and ten grandchildren.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Janet Wolff, Advertising Pioneer, Was Longtime Summer Resident". Vineyard Gazette. August 6, 2014. Retrieved September 24, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "Janet L. Woolf". Retrieved September 24, 2016.
  3. ^ Elliott, Stuart (October 16, 1998). 10 To Be Inducted Into Ad Hall of Fame. New York Times
  4. ^ Wolff, Janet (1958). What Makes Women Buy McGraw Hill ASIN: B000BN3ZHG
  5. ^ a b "Dr. James Alexander Wolff". Sun-Sentinel. legacy.com. January 3, 2013. Retrieved September 24, 2016.