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29_Larry Woodard

2005 FAST 50 WINNER

Larry Woodard, 45

President and CEO
Vigilante
New York, New York

It’s a promise that would make any PR client drool: We’ll get you on Oprah! Larry Woodard, whose Vigilante is an independently operated, urban-youth-oriented ad shop owned by Publicis, found himself chatting with Oprah’s friend and the editor at large of O, The Oprah Magazine, Gayle King, at an airport last May. Woodard evolved his friendly conversation with King into a deal that would launch Pontiac’s new G6 on Oprah’s September season opener by giving cars to her entire 276-member studio audience–more than $7 million worth. The ad trades went nuts over the stunt, Pontiac’s sales have exceeded plant capacity, and Vigilante’s revenue has doubled. “We talked to Liz Claiborne, a prospective client, on Monday. They said, ‘Can you do for us what you did for Pontiac?'” says Woodard. “Fortunately, they don’t really mean it.”

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