Barton Arthur Cummings (1914-1994) was a former Chief Executive Officer of Compton Advertising, Incorporated, and Chairman Emeritus of Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide.
Cummings began his advertising career working during school breaks at his father's advertising agency, the Earl Cummings Advertising Agency (later Cummings Brand McPherson Associates, Incorporated) in Rockford, Illinois. He graduated with a degree in Journalism from the University of Illinois in 1935, where he also played varsity football. Cummings maintained a lifelong interest in football, and in 1959 was awarded the Sports Illustrated Silver Anniversary Award for former college football stars who go on to distinguish themselves in other fields.
After graduation, Cummings took a trainee position with his father's agency, leaving several months later to take a trainee position with Swift & Company. From 1936 until 1942 he was with Benton & Bowles in New York, where he was a copywriter on accounts for Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise and Lord Calvert Whiskey, among others. During World War II, he served in the Offices of War Information and Price Administration in Washington, DC. He resigned in 1943 to join the Navy, and was assigned to the Amphibious Forces, 7th fleet. He saw action in Guinea, Borneo, and the Philippines.
After the War, Cummings joined Maxon, Incorporated as an account executive, and was elected to Vice President a year later. In 1947, he began a long and successful career with Compton Advertising, moving from account executive to President in only eight years. In 1963, Cummings was named chairman and chief executive officer, a position he held for nearly twenty years. When Compton merged with Saatchi & Saatchi in the 1980s, Cummings was named chairman emeritus of that international agency.
Mr. Cummings enjoyed a distinguished career as leader and spokesman for every major advertising industry association. He served as chairman of the American Association of Advertising Agencies (1969-1970); chairman of the American Advertising Federation (1972-1973), Chairman of the Ad Council (1979-1981), chairman of the board of trustees for the James Webb Young Fund at the University of Illinois, and chairman and director of the Advertising Educational Foundation. Other public service included work as the chairman of the advertising division for the New York Heart Association (1963-1973), chairman of the Public Service Advisory Committee for the City of New York, and director of the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan New York (1954-1977). Throughout his career, Mr. Cummings championed the use of advertising in the public interest, and washas been outspoken on the need for advertising education and industry self-regulation.
Mr. Cummings was preceded in death by his first wife Regina Pugh Cummings when he died in 1994. He was survived by his second wife Margaret K. Cummings, children Ann Haven Cummings Iverson, Peter Barton Cummings, and Susan Cummings, and one grandchild, Haven Cummings Iverson.