Stephen Schwarzman has heralded the addition of Madison Avenue luminary Shelly Lazarus to the Blackstone Group‘s board of directors, just as the SEC has relaxed rules prohibiting advertising by private equity firms.
Lazarus worked for decades at major ad firm Ogilvy & Mather, a unit of publicly traded WPP Group, and she currently serves as chairman emeritus of the agency after taking the chief executive officer job in 1996. Ogilvy’s ad hits include the American Express Travelers Cheques TV spots featuring actor Karl Malden and the slogan, “Don’t Leave Home Without It,” as well as the Miller Lite “cat fight” commercials.
“Her remarkable understanding of marketing and client management, her pioneering work in advertising, and her broad perspective on business and finance will be of great value to our organization,” Schwarzman said July 9 in a prepared statement.
The addition of Lazarus to Blackstone’s board came the same week the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission paved the way for hedge funds, private equity funds and other asset mangers to use TV, the Internet and other media to reach new investors. The rules are also seen as a boost for small asset managers attempting to compete with bigger competitors.
With Lazarus on board, maybe Blackstone will consider a splashy TV campaign or at least some targeted print ads.
Contacted about the SEC’s decision on Wednesday, Blackstone spokesman Pete Rose declined to comment.
Who knows, maybe a private equity firm will advertise on the Super Bowl, if marketers decide it’s a good place to reach accredited investors.
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