Victor G. Bloede, a former advertising executive who helped introduce the slogan "Good to the last drop" for Maxwell House coffee as well as other enduring advertising campaigns for consumer products, died on Wednesday in Boca Raton, Fla., from complications after surgery. The Baltimore native was 79.
In his career, Mr. Bloede rose to chairman and chief executive of Benton & Bowles Advertising, where he was hired as a copywriter in 1950. He was among the first agency heads to refuse to take cigarette accounts after the negative health effects of smoking became known and even resigned several accounts.
Bloede helped Procter & Gamble establish Crest toothpaste as a leading brand and persuaded the company to use the "Please don't squeeze the Charmin" slogan for its toilet tissue.
"Advertising is a rough business," he said in a 1968 article in the New York Times. "If I'd known that it was going to be like combat, I never would have gone into it."
Having worked on school newspapers in high school and college, Mr. Bloede said that he would have preferred to become a police reporter for The Sun. But he found it difficult to break into the newspaper business and went into public relations and later advertising.
At Benton & Bowles, Mr. Bloede rose quickly, becoming a vice president in 1955 and regularly receiving promotions before being named president and chief executive in 1968. He was the first and only creative executive to run Benton.
Bloede became chairman of the agency in 1971 and held that position until 1983, having given up the chief executive job in 1974. Benton & Bowles merged with D'Arcy, Masius in 1985 and is now D'Arcy, Masius, Benton & Bowles.
Bloede attended St. John's College in Annapolis and graduated from the University of Maryland in 1941.
He is survived by his wife, Merle; a son, Victor Jr.; a daughter, Susan; seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Pub Date: 2/13/99