William A. Hottman

Longtime Baltimore advertising executive was known as a talented writer who 'didn't have a mean bone in his body'

  • William Hottman
William Hottman
May 09, 2011|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | Baltimore Sun reporter

William A. Hottman, a retired Baltimore advertising executive, died Thursday of a myocardial infarction at his Mercy Ridge retirement community home. He was 85.

The son of restaurateurs, Mr. Hottman was born and raised in Wheeling, W.Va., where he graduated in 1944 from Wheeling High School.

After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the Army and served as a private with the famed 42nd "Rainbow" Division in Europe.

"He was always very proud of that," said his wife of 59 years, the former Carolyn Shreck.

After the war, Mr. Hottman enrolled at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, where he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1950.

He went to work after college as promotion manager for The Baltimore Sun, and later joined the old Gunther Brewing Co. as advertising manager.

Mr. Hottman was advertising manager for J.H. Filbert Co., manufacturers of Mrs. Filbert's Margarine. He and his partner, George D. Edwards 2d, who had been a former ad manager for Maryland Blue Cross and Blue Shield and vice president of Buddemeir Advertising Inc., established Hottman Edwards Advertising in the Horizon House on North Calvert Street in 1971.

"Bill was vice president and treasurer, and I was president," said Mr. Edwards, who retired from the firm in 1995.

"We had a real variety of accounts, which were primarily consumer accounts. Some of the accounts Bill worked on were the Lexington Market Authority, which we had for 20 years. He also worked on the old Bank of Virginia, which at the time was the most dominant bank in the state during the 1960s and 1970s," he said. "He also did a fine job with the Greater Baltimore Medical Center account and the Alcolac Chemical Corp. account."

Mr. Edwards described his former partner as a "gifted writer, particularly in the medium of radio."

"Bill had a very keen understanding of it, and in 1972 we were hired by Metromedia Radio and subsequently WBAL-Radio, and this was clearly due to Bill's abilities. He had been raised in the era of radio and knew it," he said.

Mr. Edwards said that clients enjoyed working with Mr. Hottman.

"He was extremely well thought of and extraordinarily creative. Clients loved him for his candor, straightforwardness and wit. He was not a mean-spirited man," he said.

Harold C. "Hal" Donofrio, a prominent Baltimore advertising executive, was an old friend.

"I've known Bill for so many years, first as a client at Mrs. Filbert's and later as a competitor. Advertising can be a thin-skinned game, but he was always very pleasant and didn't have a mean bone in his body, and that's rare in this business," said Mr. Donofrio.

"He was very well-liked and was as pleasant to his clients and competitors as he was to his family," said Mr. Donofrio, who had been a partner in the advertising firm of Richardson, Myers & Donofrio. "He was just a wonderful guy."

Mr. Hottman retired in 1989.

The longtime Mays Chapel North and Timonium resident, who had moved to Mercy Ridge last August, was an avid golfer.

"He loved playing golf at Pine Ridge," said Mrs. Hottman.

He was also an Orioles and crossword puzzle fan.

Mr. Hottman was a member of St. Paul's Evangelical Church, 1609 Kurtz Ave., Lutherville, where a celebration of life service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Hottman is survived by a son, William M. Hottman of Bel Air; three daughters, Leslie Hottman Leber of Timonium, Lynn Llewellyn Livingston of York, Pa., and Kris Hottman Eckert of Vienna, Va.; a sister, Dorothy H. Hill of Wheeling; 11 grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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