Friday, September 24, 2004

Creator of "Walking Fingers" Dies at 83

Stephen Baker, who created the "Let your fingers do the walking" ad campaign for the Yellow Pages and advised readers on how to live with a neurotic dog, died in Manhattan on Sept. 13. He was 83.

The cause was cancer of the gastrointestinal tract, his son, Scott, said.

As an art director for the advertising agency Cunningham & Walsh and later as founder of his own firms, Mr. Baker tried to create sassy ads that steered clear of the hard sell.

For one commercial in the "Let your fingers do the walking" campaign to promote AT&T's Yellow Pages, a woman's well-manicured hand saunters down a street, its long red fingernails resembling high heels. AT&T used the slogan for at least six years, and it is still used by other phone directories, according to the Yellow Pages Association.

"Baker was part of what was then known as the creative revolution," said Fred Danzig, a former editor of Advertising Age. "He was one of the people who I suppose you might say was at the forefront of it."


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