Herbert L. Rowland

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Herbert L. Rowland, founder of one of the dominant independent PR firms from the 1970s and 1980s until he sold it to Saatchi & Saatchi in 1985, died Feb. 8 in his home in Brentwood, Calif. He was 81. The cause was complications from multiple myeloma, said his wife Patricia. Rowland earned a B.S. from City College of New York in 1948 and an M.A. from Columbia University in English in 1951. He was a reporter for the New York Times from 1949-50 and later with Where magazine and TV Week magazine.
He joined Roger Brown, New York PR firm, in 1954, which later became Brown & Rowland. The Rowland Co. was established in 1961. S&S purchased the company for $10 million cash and a payout based on a multiple of ten times the after-tax profits during the next five years through Dec. 31, 1989. Pre-tax profits were $2.17M in 1984 or 21% of Rowland's gross of $10.5M. Gray and Co., Washington, D.C., had also made attempts to buy the firm, which was noted for its blue chip clients such as Procter & Gamble, IBM, DuPont, Canon, Johnson & Johnson, Nestle, Sandoz, Toyota, Eastman Kodak, Corning & 3M.
Robert Marston, who formed Robert Marston and Assocs. after working for many years at the Rowland firm, said Rowland developed the "highly successful PR strategy of showing clients how they could promote their products by targeting a single market or cluster of markets that collectively reached their prime audience." Rowland labeled it, "Target Marketing." Clients focused on U.S. markets that "met their exacting demographic criteria," said Marston. Rowland Co. senior managers made an attempt in 1995 to buy the firm back from what had become Cordiant. However, they were rebuffed. Rowland was folded into an U.S. entity called Publicis Consultants | PR by its French parent last month.[1]


  1. O'Dwyer's PR Report March 2007 PR pioneer Herbert Rowland dies at 81 BYLINE: Jack O'Dwyer SECTION: Pg. 16 Vol. 21 No. 3