LINDA KAPLAN THALER
Linda Kaplan Thaler is responsible for some of America’s most famous, relevant and touching advertising campaigns in the industry, including the Aflac duck quack heard round the world and the daring “Yes, Yes, Yes” for Clairol Herbal Essences. Much of her work has become part of the American pop-culture landscape. She has authored and composed campaign jingles that are among the industry’s gold standard. Some examples are: “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up, I’m a Toys ‘R’ Us Kid” (Toys ‘R’ Us); “Kodak Moments” (Eastman Kodak) and “The Heart of Communication” (Bell Atlantic). Of her 13 Clio Awards, two were for Best Original Music and Lyrics.
Today, Linda is the Chairman of Publicis Kaplan Thaler, a fully-integrated advertising agency with digital, social and technology at its core. The agency is the U.S. flagship within the Publicis Worldwide Network, and its blue-chip client roster includes: P&G, CITI, Nestle, L’Oreal, Merck, Pfizer, and Wendy’s, among many others. Previously, Linda was CEO and Chief Creative Officer of the Kaplan Thaler Group, which she founded in 1997 and grew from a fledgling start-up to a company with over a billion dollars in billings. In July of 2012, the Kaplan Thaler Group merged with Publicis New York to form Publicis Kaplan Thaler.
Prior to starting the Kaplan Thaler Group, Linda was Executive Vice President, Executive Creative Director at Wells Rich Greene BDDP where she led the creative team that won the Heineken business with the edgy “True Conversations” campaign. Linda was Senior Vice President, Group Creative Director at J. Walter Thompson where she spent 17 years. In this position, she ran major accounts like Burger King, Kodak, Northwest Airlines, Pepsi and Clairol.
Linda is also a best-selling author and television personality. Her three collaborations with coauthor Robin Koval have all received national recognition. Their most recent title, The Power of Small: Why Little Things Make All the Difference, debuted as an instant national bestseller. Linda and Robin’s previous book, The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World with Kindness, debuted on the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. Bang! Getting Your Message Heard in a Noisy World, a savvy marketing book and their first title, was also a national bestseller.
In 2005, Linda hosted the Oxygen television series “Making It Big,” where young professionals competed for their dream job. To launch the show, Linda starred in a series of promotional commercials, which received the 2006 American Women in Television & Radio Gracie Allen Award for Outstanding Commercial Campaign. She has also appeared on Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice” as a judge.
In addition to her Clio awards, Linda’s creative talents have earned her the prestigious New York Women in Communications Matrix Award, the Advertising Woman of the Year Award from Advertising Women of New York, the UJA’s Mac Dane Humanitarian Award, the Women’s Leadership Exchange’s Compass Award and the Girl Scout’s Woman of Distinction Award. Linda was also presented with a New York Women in Film and Television’s Muse Award, the first woman in advertising to receive this honor. Most recently, she was named one of Advertising Age’s “Most Influential Women in Advertising.”
A native New Yorker, Linda was a Phi Beta Kappa and Magna cum Laude graduate of CCNY, with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in music. Linda currently sits on the Advisory Council for The Colin Powell Center at CCNY and previously served as the 2010/2011 President of New York Women in Communications. Linda is married to composer Fred Thaler and has two children, Michael and Emily.