Denise-H-Sutton-FinalDenise H. Sutton, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Business at City Tech-CUNY. She is the author of Globalizing Ideal Beauty: Women, Advertising, and the Power of Marketing (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009, 2012). An expert on advertising beauty, Sutton has lectured widely on the subject at universities and at corporations such as Unilever and Firmenich. She developed and taught courses on advertising and gender at the New School University, New York City, and lectures at the Fashion Institute of Technology—SUNY.



Globalizing Ideal Beauty is the forgotten history of a group of women copywriters whose successful ad campaigns went international in the 1920s and spread an American notion of feminine appeal from Bangor to Bangkok. Sutton’s approach is grounded in a huge body of original archival research that has so far remained largely untapped.


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Praise for Globalizing Ideal Beauty

“An empirically rich and beautifully written study of the complex and often contradictory roles that women and gender played in the history of American advertising.  This should be essential reading for all those interested in understanding in what ways gender, class and race matter to the projection of American commercial culture at home and abroad.”  – Mona Domosh, Joan P. and Edward J. Foley, Jr. Professor, Department of Geography, Dartmouth College

“The brilliance of Sutton’s well-researched book lies in the way she takes a case study approach to how female advertising copywriters contributed to the development of the burgeoning American beauty industry, and to many of the cultural and marketing issues that our industry continues to face today. The chapter on Pond’s, in particular, is highly recommended for its ability to illustrate the knock-on effect of one company’s marketing strategy on changing broader perceptions of femininity, race, and class. This sophisticated analysis really resonates with my graduate students who are marketing professionals in the beauty industry.”   – Leslie Harris, adjunct instructor, Fashion Institute of Technology, and Global General Manager of SkinCeuticals, L’Oréal USA

“Provides a glimpse into the origins of advertising and the key role that women played in creating today’s global standard of feminine beauty . . . A useful volume for marketing as well as women’s studies collections . . . Recommended.”  — CHOICE

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Current Research

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The Forgotten History of the Women Who Shaped Modern Advertising

From Ciara Lavelle’s article on Bitch Media: “One major success of the Women’s Editorial Department was their digression from the typical advertising copy of the period—text that merely described what a product did without much embellishment. For example, an ad for Pond’s Vanishing Cream might explain its use (“Promotes firmness of skin texture”) alongside a … Continue reading The Forgotten History of the Women Who Shaped Modern Advertising

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Women In Advertising

Women were already a force to be reckoned with in advertising well before Madmen’s ambitious Peggy Olsen worked her way from secretary to copywriter at Sterling Cooper in the 1960s. At the J. Walter Thompson (JWT) Advertising Company, women were responsible for advertising women’s products as part of JWT’s Women’s Editorial Department in the early … Continue reading 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Women In Advertising