"You cannot bore people into buying your product: you can only interest them in buying it.
-- David Ogilvy
Ogilvy & Mather are one of the leading advertising agencies in the world. They are based in New York, but have offices in over 90 other countries, and are responsible for some of the best known advertising slogans around. They are currently doing advertising for IBM, Dove (since 1955), Mattel (since 1954), Nestle, American Express (since 1961), Motorola, Kodak, Cisco Systems, Coca-Cola, Maxwell House (since 1959), Ford, and Volvo, among many others.
O&M believes strongly in the principle of the brand, and works hard to build strong name brand recognition, and are probably best known for producing famous catch-phrases that identify the product sight unseen, such as Don't leave home without it, Good to the last drop, Finger lickin' good, Share moments. Share life, and 1/4 moisturizing cream.
We work not for ourselves, not for the company, not even for the client.
We work for brands.
-- From www.ogilvy.com
O&M was started in 1948, and had their first major success three years later with the creation of the Hathaway Man, a spiffily dressed man with a dashing eye patch, who helped increase Hathaway Shirts' sales by 160%. In the next 20 years, they did advertising for Barbie, Shell, Mattel, Dove, American Express, and Hershey's, many of who still employ the firm's services today. The company was also helped on the road to success when David Ogilvy's book Confessions of an Advertising Man became an international best seller in 1963. His second book, Ogilvy on Advertising, published in 1983, was another best seller, and is still used as a textbook in advertising classes.
By the 1970s and into 80s, O&M had become a pioneer in global marketing. Offices in all countries work together to adapt advertising campaigns to the local culture, and O&M encourages clients to advertise across boarders. In 1989 O&M was the first Western advertising agency to officially open a branch in the Soviet Union, just before the place fell apart.
Also in 1989, O&M was taken over by the advertising conglomerate WPP Group (which also owns the PR groups Hill and Knowlton and Burson-Marsteller). O&M has not suffered as a subsidiary of WPP, and depending on which source you believe, is ranked as the 6th, 8th, or 9th largest advertising group in the world (the lower rankings don't count all of O&M's extensive subsidiaries).
In 1994 they pulled the largest account switch in advertising history, when IBM consolidated all of its advertising accounts (spread out among 40 different companies), and gave the whole $500 million dollar mess to O&M.
In July of 1999 founder David Ogilvy died at the age of 88, leaving Shelley Lazarus as president and CEO of O&M. (As far as I can find, there never was a Mather, the name being a hold-over from the company Ogilvy was an intern for in England, Mather & Crowley).
Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide has many divisions:
Quotes and history found on http://www.ogilvy.com