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94-Year-Old Original 'Mad Man' Tells All

Christine Birkner

When you think about the history of advertising and marketing, vignettes of 1960s New York City ad men straight out of the hit AMC show Mad Men usually spring to mind: boozy lunches and nights of debauchery interspersed with brilliant bursts of creativity. But these visions are only partially correct, and Lawrence Rinck would know. Rinck, 94, was an advertising executive at New York-based Sperry & Hutchinson Co., known as S&H Green Stamps, in the 1960s and ʼ70s. S&H Green Stamps were trading stamps, popular until the 1980s, which customers would receive at the checkout counters of department stores and other retailers and could then redeem for household products such as appliances and furniture in the S&H catalog. Rinck and his team were responsible for one of S&H’s famous taglines, “The more you lick ʼem, the more you’ll like ʼem.”  

As Rinck crafted advertising campaigns for S&H and, later, National Car in Minnesota, he inspired his son, Peter, to take up a career in advertising and open his own agency: Auburn, Maine-based Rinck Advertising, whose clients include Green Mountain Coffee, Dean Foods and Daily’s Cocktails. In October 2015, Peter was on the hunt to add fresh talent to the agency, so he turned to the most experienced advertising professional he knew: his dad. Larry was named the agency’s chief inspiration officer, and to celebrate the appointment, Rinck rebranded the agency’s website with Mad Men-themed photos of the agency’s staff, as well as Larry’s S&H Green Stamps headshot from 1965. In his role, Larry serves as a resource for employees and gives advice based on his years of industry experience

Marketing News caught up with father and son to discuss how advertising has changed,and stayed the same, since the 1960s, and how Larry continues to inspire theRinck Advertising team. (Photos, below: Lawrence Rinck in 1965 and today.)

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Christine Birkner

Christine Birkner is a freelance writer in Chicago.