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Shirley Polykoff

Shirley Polykoff

Shirley Polykoff became one of the top advertising executives of her day by crafting ad campaigns that transformed how Americans saw products from coffee to hair dye.

Shirley Polykoff

“Does she ... or doesn’t she?” asked advertising copywriter Shirley Polykoff in 1955, in the first advertising campaign ever to try to sell hair dye to a mass audience.

Advertising and Consumer Culture in the United States

In the twentieth century, Jewish women played a disproportionate role in the development of American consumer culture because of a combination of factors. For one, American industry became increasingly consumer-oriented, and consumer industries were comparatively open to small entrepreneurs. For another, Jewish immigrants and their children tended to display strong entrepreneurial tendencies.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Shirley Polykoff." (Viewed on January 24, 2018) <>.


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