Paula Green's feminist activism: changing America through advertising

TUNÇ T. E. , Babic A. A.

FEMINIST MEDIA STUDIES, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/14680777.2021.1979071
  • Title of Journal : FEMINIST MEDIA STUDIES
  • Keywords: Paula green, feminist activism, advertising, United States, media, 1970s


A pioneer of women in advertising and television media, Paula Green (1927-2015) is arguably best remembered for her copy for the Avis "We Try Harder" campaign that revolutionized Madison Avenue in the 1960s. While Green certainly flourished at Doyle Dane Bernbach, by the end of the decade, she had reached the highest position available to her at the agency. It was at this point she decided to establish her own firm, Green Dolmatch. As its president, creative director, and co-owner, Green was no longer beholden to the corporate mainstream. Consequently, as this article will argue, over the course of the 1970s, she selected projects that showcased women's concerns, deploying high-profile radio, television, and print campaigns to convey personal and political cause-driven social messages. Ultimately, Green's feminist media campaigns became watersheds in the industry, helping to transform public attitudes towards women's issues and the way the American media handles activist causes today.