S H Benson


1893-, London, New York

Samuel Herbert Benson founded Benson's in 1893 at 100 Fleet Street. Benson had managed the Bovril factory for three years and, at the suggestion of its chairman set himself up as an 'Advertiser's Agent' specifically to handle their account.

In ten years he multiplied the billings by forty and acquired many other accounts, moving to larger premises in 1899 and registered as a limited company in 1906, the first UK advertising agency to do so. In 1909 Bensons moved to Kingsway Hall, the first office building in the newly built Kingsway.

S H Benson was a leading agency in the 1920s and 30s with long-running campaigns for Guinness, Macleans, Colman's Mustard and many others, as well as the original Bovril account. It specialised in large outdoor poster campaigns.

In 1948 David Ogilvy founded Ogilvy Benson & Mather in New York with generous investment from S H Benson. In 1964 OBM merged with Mather & Crowther to form Ogilvy & Mather International. S H Benson continued trading under its own name in London and became a public company in 1969. In 1971 O&M (London) bought S H Benson to form Ogilvy Benson & Mather again, but this time in London.

The Ogilvy Group was acquired by WPP in 1989.

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