Direct Agency Pioneer Gosden Dies at Age 87

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He led FCB Direct to prominence and was a noted direct marketing educator.

Freeman Fisher Gosden Jr.
Freeman Fisher Gosden Jr.

Freeman Fisher Gosden Jr., who helped introduce direct marketing techniques to the mainstream ad agency business, passed away this week at the age of 87 in Santa Barbara, CA.

Gosden started his career in traditional advertising at Young & Rubicam and BBDO before cofounding Smith-Hemmings-Gosden, a direct marketing agency that rose to the third largest under his stewardship. The agency later merged with Foote, Cone & Belding and Gosden became chairman of FCB Direct, which counted 33 direct marketing offices in 14 countries.

A leader in direct marketing education, he was a vice chair of the Direct Marketing Educational Association and presented workshops at more than 100 companies and colleges. His book Direct Marketing Success: What Works and Why was printed in four languages and sold more than 100,000 copies.

Gosden's father, Freeman “Gozzie” Gosden was a co-creator of the Amos ‘n' Andy radio show, and voiced the characters of Amos and George “Kingfish” Stevens.


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