Tony Schwartz

posted 2008-06-16 23:28:40 by grendel

NEW YORK (AP) — Tony Schwartz, who helped create the infamous "daisy ad" that ran only once during the 1964 presidential race but changed political advertising forever, died Sunday, his daughter said. He was 84.

Schwartz, who started his career as a graphic designer, collaborated with a team from the Doyle Dean Bernbach ad agency to create the spot featuring a little girl counting aloud as she removed the petals of a daisy.

The scene then changed into a countdown to an atomic blast. President Lyndon B. Johnson, the Democratic incumbent seeking re-election, did the voiceover with the line, "We must either love each other, or we must die" — a paraphrase of a famous W.H. Auden poem written to mark the start of World War II.

The ad made no mention of Johnson's Republican opponent, Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater, but the implication was clear. After public criticism, it was withdrawn.

Johnson went on to win re-election, and the spot has been credited with ushering in an era of negative political ads.

Schwartz worked on other campaigns, both for politicians and corporate clients like Coca-Cola and Chrysler. He also publicized in a series of commercials the dangers of smoking.

His work was acquired by the Library of Congress in 2007.