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An American Dream Come True

Joseph Exnicios
July 26, 2016

The Hancock and Whitney Bank family said goodbye recently to Peter A. Mayer, founder of Peter Mayer Advertising and one of the giants of the communications industry in the Gulf South. Peter truly personified the American dream.


His remarkable life story contains lessons for us all about the opportunities available to Americans who work hard and dream big. He escaped Nazi Germany with his parents in 1935 and arrived in New Orleans as a six-year-old refugee unable to speak a word of English. He was educated in New Orleans public schools and graduated from the University of Missouri’s prestigious School of Journalism.  


After service in the Air Force, he returned to New Orleans and began his media career in the Circulation Department at The Times Picayune. Soon his talents led him to the advertising business and positions with a succession of advertising agencies. He started Peter Mayer Advertising in 1967, and his agency quickly grew to be one of the largest in the region.


In a city filled with characters, Peter more than held his own. Wearing his trademark bow tie, he loved telling tall tales about exotic foods, travel, fishing, and the latest joke. He lived life to the fullest and found the humor in most any situation.


Throughout his career, Peter received many accolades, including the New Orleans Ad Club’s Silver Medal and induction into the Louisiana Broadcasters Hall of Fame. He always found time to give his support to many worthy causes, and never hesitated to encourage young people trying to launch a career in marketing.



For many years, we have had the privilege of serving as Peter Mayer Advertising's bank as they have provided marketing services to numerous companies in the great city of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. Our organizations share common beliefs in integrity, teamwork and commitment to service. Peter’s sons Josh and Mark have succeeded him in running the business, and we look forward to working with them to continue his legacy of helping the city and region grow and prosper.


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