With profound sadness, Burrell Communications Group announces the sudden and untimely passing of one of the agency’s cornerstones. Linda Jefferson, senior vice president of Group Media Services, passed away last week after a short illness.
Jefferson began her career with Burrell in 1984, and in her nearly 40-year tenure firmly established herself as a principal of the agency. “Linda was the consummate media maven, colleague, mentor and friend. We are very fortunate to have had her as a member of the Burrell family,” said Fay Ferguson, co-CEO. “She was widely respected by our clients and her peers across the advertising community as a trusted authority,” added McGhee Osse, co-CEO. “Linda helped to establish the science of targeted media, as well as its effective implementation, but more than that she was just a good person and one of our finest. We are heartbroken by this loss.”
Jefferson was highly regarded for her insightful perspectives on Black American touchpoints, the ever-evolving media landscape and new and emerging media, specializing in branded integrations, partnerships and analytics. Her distinctive professional accomplishments and acumen throughout her career promoted not only a greater understanding of the Black consumer market, but also helped fuel its growth.
She spearheaded the development of integrated communications strategies at Burrell, and led strategic communications planning and buying on Burrell’s Comcast, American Red Cross, Procter & Gamble, McDonald’s, General Mills, Toyota and Cocoa-Cola accounts, to name a few. Linda was also a proud member of the agency’s Culture Team.
Prior to joining Burrell, Jefferson was an international media planner at Tatham-Laird & Kudner (Chicago) with responsibility for global banking and real estate clients. She began her career at J. Walter Thompson advertising in 1978, where she was an assistant media planner and then an international media planner on the Kemper Insurance, McDonnell Douglas Corp., Northern Trust Company and Parker Pens business.
Jefferson’s personal and professional contributions to Burrell’s success are immeasurable. She was the recipient of EBONY magazine’s 2004 Advertising Agency Award for “Outstanding Women in Marketing and Communications,” and was featured in ESSENCE magazine’s 2007 Media Influencer campaign. She further was named one of the Chicago Defender’s 2012 “Women of Excellence,” and was recognized by Black Enterprise magazine from 2012-2016 as one of the “Top Executives in Marketing & Advertising.” In 2013, Jefferson received the MAXX Lifetime Achievement Award from Target Market News.
Jefferson served on the board of the internationally acclaimed Chicago Children’s Choir and was a founding board member of the Chicago-based advertising organization TAP (Targeted Advertising Professionals). She attended Loyola University of Chicago and Northern Illinois University where she majored in Biological Sciences with a minor in Chemistry.
Memorial Services and a Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, June 17th at Cosmopolitan Community Church, 5249 S. Wabash Ave. in Chicago. The wake will begin at 10:00 a.m. CT, followed by the Memorial Service at 11:00 a.m.