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1899

Denmark's first ad agency

When in 1899 the young bicycle dealer Jens Sylvester-Hvid was in need for more customer traffic in his just opened bike shop in Copenhagen, he met a lot of skepticism with this newfangled vehicle.

Jens Sylvester-Hvid was inspired by the evolution in the United States where the new phenomenon advertising was already blooming. He quickly tought himself the techniques, joined the public discussion about cycling, and exploited the fact that the ladies of Copenhagen had started cycling - shocking the capital's bourgeoisie.

He introduced illustrations of cycling ladies in his advertisements for his bike shop. Such a move was very spicy and audacious at that time, but they became the first "situation pictures" in the history of Danish advertising.

The breakthrough for bike shop owner Sylvester-Hvid came when he printed 50,000 copies of his hand drawn bicycle catalog and door-to-door distributed it all over Copenhagen. Well supported by a Public Relations initiative, he and his bicycle ideas became talk of the town among most Copenhageners.

Customers flocked from all over town - and not only for buying bikes. More and more businessmen asked Jens Sylvester-Hvid to help them market their own products and services.

Thus, the germ for Denmark's first communications agency was sowed. Reklamebureauet A/S ("The Ad Agency") was founded on October 14, 1899. Later, the agency was renamed Sylvester Hvid & Co Ltd.

From day one, the new agency offered creative full service solutions. A strategy that has proved its success many times since. Today, Sylvester Hvid & Co. Ltd. still provides integrated full service solutions to its clients.

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