Eicoff names McCabe CEO, Bliwas becomes ad agency's acting chairman

By: Kate MacArthur

Crain's- Ron Bliwas, head of the country's largest direct-response television agency, A. Eicoff & Co., has announced he's leaving the CEO post after 32 years with the company.

He named Bill McCabe, 49, to become president and CEO. Mr. Bliwas will continue as acting chairman.

"I have done this job for longer than just about any other major agency CEO,” Mr. Bliwas, 69, said in a statement. “I felt it was time to give Bill a chance to take charge. I am confident in his abilities to successfully run the business and ensure Eicoff continues to lead the industry as DRTV takes hold on a much broader scale."

The Chicago-based agency, with 120 employees, is a unit of New York-based ad agency Ogilvy & Mather.

Mr. McCabe, now executive vice president and chief operating officer, has been with Eicoff for 27 years.

Founded in 1959 by Alvin Eicoff — who coined the phrase "Or your money back" and championed the 800 phone number — the agency has grown 50 percent over the last three years to about $600 million in annual billings, Mr. McCabe said in an interview. "Marketers are demanding much more accountability for their TV advertising and that's going to continue," he said.

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