The Man, The Myth, The Legend.
Sam Landers was a "classic" – a sage from the heyday of Madison Avenue when the American advertising agency was the envy of the world. His formative years were spent in New York in the 60's, where he became an Account Supervisor at BBD&O and then Y&R. When Y&R won the accounts of Florida's largest S&L (Florida Federal) and largest retail drugstore chain (Eckerd Drugs), Sam moved to St. Petersburg, Florida to open an office managing those accounts.
After several years, Sam fell in love with Florida and sought to put down roots. He and Bob Guckenburger (a David Ogilvy protégé) started Landers and Partners on April Fool's day in 1977. Sam possessed a profoundly dry wit and found a great deal of humor in opening an agency on such an occasion. An extraordinarily intelligent and intuitive man, he built Landers and Partners into an immediate success, primarily representing area financial, media and real estate accounts and even conducting two gubernatorial campaigns. The agency became one of the largest in the Tampa Bay area.
In 1982 Sam won the regional business for an up and coming national Quick Service Restaurant chain, Taco Bell. As the agency's reputation within the franchise community grew, so did the brand, as did Landers and Partners until it became the largest regional agency in the Taco Bell national system, representing restaurants from New York to Florida, North Carolina to Texas.
Among his many achievements, those measured by the number of people who loved him and whom he mentored were the greatest. He spoke softly but his words were always profound. He did not have an enemy in the world. He is remembered most not for his accomplishments, but for his kindness and compassion. Sam died tragically in a car accident in 1998 but his legacy and corporate culture is carried on to this day at Landers and Partners.