Ken Bove, Sr.
DCW Advertising’s position as one of the nation’s premier media buying agencies owes much to the pioneering vision of Ken Bove, Sr., who acquired an agency called Dougherty, Clifford and Wadsworth in 1973 and immediately transformed it into an innovative industry leader.
Forced by circumstances to begin working at age 16, Mr. Bove worked as a proofreader for a law firm, an accountant for a construction firm and a butcher’s apprentice before going into business for himself at age 22. He opened several stores, which he sold within three years to launch a career on Wall Street. At age 33, he established Kenneth Bove and Company, which soon became the country’s largest over-the-counter securities firm, with 300 salesmen, two home offices on Broadway and branches in four states.
Six years later, after selling Kenneth Bove and Company, Mr. Bove embarked on a new endeavor, becoming an advertising representative for NBC Radio. After observing barter principles in action, where advertising is traded for products and/or services instead of money, he decided to acquire Dougherty, Clifford and Wadsworth/DCW in 1973.
As head of Dougherty, Clifford and Wadsworth, Mr. Bove drew on his investment and trade-related experiences to pioneer highly original barter/trade arrangements, as well as the practice of media banking. Among the clients to benefit from his innovations were Mobil Oil, Magnavox, RCA, Zenith, Emerson, IBM, GE, Firestone, American Motors Corporation and Eastern Airlines, to name a few.
After turning the day-to-day management of Dougherty, Clifford and Wadsworth over to his son, Ken, in 1997, Mr. Bove remained a vital force at the agency, serving as Chairman of the Board.
A native of Brooklyn, Mr. Bove was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by St. John’s University in 1985, as well as the university’s highest honor, The University Gold Medal, conferred in 1987.
Mr. Bove passed away on April 29, 2010 at the age of 77. He is held in the highest regard and deeply missed by all who knew him.