WYSE ADVERTISING, a Cleveland-based agency, was founded by Marcus (Marc) and Lois Wyse in 1951. Born in Cleveland to Czechoslovakian immigrants (see CZECHS) Marc Wyse attended Dartmouth College and Adelbert College of Western Reserve University (see CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY) graduating with a bachelor's degree in English. Lois and Marc got their starts in advertising with the editorial shopping column "Wise Buys," a quarter page feature that ran in the CLEVELAND NEWS and the PLAIN DEALER around 1950. When the Wyse's opened their agency, they were located in the Carnegie Hall Building at 1220 Huron Rd., where they shared a small office with a local artist. After opening the agency, Wyse Advertising secured Stouffer's Frozen Foods (see STOUFFER'S FOODS) as its first client. The firm grew quickly, expanding to eight employees and having billings of over $1 million by 1956. In 1962, Lois Wyse came up with the classic slogan for one of their clients, the J. M. Smucker Co.-"With a name like Smucker's, it has to be good." The slogan provided Smucker's with national brand recognition. Wyse Advertising opened a New York City office in 1967. By then, the agency was well established itself in the consumer field with clients such as Smucker's, SHERWIN WILLIAMS CO., Higbee's (see DILLARD DEPARTMENT STORE), Gimbel's, Clairol, Stouffer's, and the CLEVELAND PRESS.
By 1980 Wyse had 90 employees in Cleveland, and 30 in New York. The Wyse's divorced in 1980, but they continued to maintain a professional relationship with Marc serving as chairman and head of the Cleveland Office and Lois serving as president and head of the New York office. (At times there have been branch offices in Chicago and Indianapolis.) That same year, Wyse Advertising acquired the Sapin & Tolle agency, best known for its industrial advertising. Wyse relocated to the top floor of Stouffer's Hotel (see STOUFFER'S RENAISSANCE CLEVELAND HOTEL) on PUBLIC SQUARE in 1981, and three years later expanded to the 11th floor of the adjacent Terminal Tower Bldg (see TOWER CITY CENTER). In 1984 the company was Cleveland's largest ad agency, with 174 employees. Wyse was named one of the 30 "hottest" agencies in the country in 1990, having had billings of $140 million the previous year.
Weak conditions in the advertising industry necessitated a 10% cut in the work force in Jan. 1991. The agency lost the J. M. Smucker Co. account in 1994 and the agency was forced to close its New York office. The Cleveland office was unaffected by these changes and the local work force stood at approximately 185 employees. At the time, Wyse's client list included AMERICAN GREETINGS CO., BP AMERICA , B. F. Goodrich, and Stroh Brewery. By the end of 1995 the agency counted Renaissance Hotels and Applebee's International among its clients and had almost $140 million in annual billings.
In 1996, Wyse moved into a 50,000 square foot office space in the Landmark Office Tower at 45 W. Prospect Ave., which had recently been vacated by the LTV CORP., and ended its 30-year relationship with Stouffer Hotels and Resorts (then known as Renaissance Hotels International). The following year, Wyse acquired Cleveland's the six-year-old Blasko, Sipos, & Courtney agency, adding its $3 million in annual billings to Wyse's $140 million. That same year, Wyse landed one of its largest new accounts when it received the national advertising account for Office Depot. Wyse secured the rights to use Scott Adam's popular Dilbert comic strip character for the campaign, but by 1997 the agency lost the account. That same year, Wyse picked up a new Sherwin Williams Store account. Other notable additions included, Dayton-based Mead Products. In 1999, Wyse lost the Applebee's Intl. account, but gained widespread recognition for the Sherwin Williams' national advertising campaign with the Wyse slogan, "Ask how, Ask now, Ask Sherwin Williams." In 2002, one of Wyse's divisions, Wyse Landau Public Relations, was purchased by partner Howard Landau and became known as Landau Public Relations, ending Wyse's twenty-year-old public relations division.
In 2004, Marc Wyse, then 81, still served as chief executive of Wyse Advertising and the agency counted FirstEnergy, POLYONE CORP., ROYAL APPLIANCE MANUFACTURING CO., the University Hospitals Health Systems (see UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS OF CLEVELAND) among other as its clients. Headquartered in the Landmark Office Tower, Wyse Advertising had annual billing of $115 million and employed 100 in the Cleveland Office.