WASHINGTON - Advertising doyenne and darling of Madison Avenue Charlotte Beers was nominated by President Bush last week as the next undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs.
The post makes Beers the de facto international PR representative for
the United States and gives her jurisdiction over international
communications and diplomacy.
Beers, often referred to as 'the queen of advertising,' is largely
credited for breaking the glass ceiling over Madison Avenue. She is the
first woman ever to chair the American Association of Advertising
Agencies, a post she held in 1998, and she became CEO of a foundering
Ogilvy & Mather in 1992. Her efforts there led to the agency's
Beers enjoyed a brief retirement in 1996, but was lured back to
advertising three years later at the age of 63 by Martin Sorrell, who
asked her to take the helm at O&M's sister agency J. Walter Thompson.
She will continue her duties there until the Senate confirms her
While neither Beers nor White House staff would comment on the
appointment, her responsibilities, according to the State Department Web site, include ensuring 'that public diplomacy (engaging, informing, and influencing key international audiences) is practiced in harmony with
public affairs (outreach to Americans) and traditional diplomacy to
advance US interests and security.'