Holmes Report 17 Mar 2013 // 12:00AM GMT
NEW YORK—Andy Cooper, who held a series of senior leadership positions at Burson-Marsteller before founding his own New York agency with partner Ralph Katz, died last week after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 64.
Especially known for his creativity, Cooper’s broad experienced included launching the Answer Center and pioneering the use of infomercials for GE; managing the AT&T Olympic Torch Relay; leading the US Treasury’s global introduction of the new $100 bill; launching the MetroCard Gold for New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority; introducing Virgin Mobile in the American market; and coining the term “Vespanomics” to help Piaggio/Vespa communicate the benefits of motorscooters in the US.
He started his career in public relations in 1975, when he joined Burson-Marsteller in Chicago. He quickly transferred to Burson’s New York City office, where he was joined by Katz—who he first met in graduate school at Syracuse University—to begin a partnership that was to last almost four decades.
At Burson, Cooper held numerous senior management positions, including account group manager, director of creative services, president of the New York office and vice chairman of the company, before leaving in 1996 to form CooperKatz & Company.
The firm worked with clients in the healthcare, technology, consumer products, financial services, professional services, business-to-business, government and non-profit sectors, and was known for its content creation capabilities and its pioneering social media work. Cooper served as a senior strategic and creative counselor to all accounts and led the firm’s media training practice.
He also served on the board of directors and executive committee of the Council of Public Relations Firms.
According to Katz, “All of those who have worked with Andy over the years—including members of our CooperKatz family who have moved on to other jobs and life adventures—have first-hand knowledge of Andy’s creativity, his passion for his work, his incredible advocacy for his clients, his fierce intelligence, his humor and, yes, his relentless perfectionism.”
Cooper is survived by his wife, Sharon, and children, Emily and Daniel Cooper. Ralph Katz continues at CooperKatz & Company as founder and principal, supported by president and CEO Anne Green, CFO Dorothy Sonnenburg, and seven other members of the management team.