George D. Meredith of East Hampton, New York, a former longtime Montclair resident and  co-founder and creative director of the New Jersey advertising agency Gianettino & Meredith, died peacefully at home on Jan. 5, 2023. He was 82. 

Mr. Meredith was a copywriter and creative director who created and oversaw memorable campaigns for WNEW-FM, ShopRite, Benjamin Moore, Welsh Farms, Chevrolet, Kiwi Airlines and many other companies. 

He served on the boards of Unity Concerts, Bloomfield College and the Whole Theater Company. He was part of the Montclair Art Museum’s acquisitions committee and helped found the Yogi Berra Museum. 

Mr. Meredith’s first job after moving to the East Coast in 1969 was as editor of the program that is passed out at New York Giants football games. His first copywriting job was for the agency Force, followed by his work at the Keyes Martin advertising agency, where he rose to creative director. 

While at Keyes Martin, he created the ShopRite “Can Can” campaign. The ads featured a French can-can line, and the jingle became a decades-long ear worm for residents of the Northeast. 

In 1976, he and Ron Gianettino founded Gianettino & Meredith in Nutley. Over its first 10 years it became the largest independently owned advertising agency in the state. 

His fledgling agency gained its first client when rock radio station WNEW-FM turned to it as the station struggled against the rise of disco music. Inspired by poet Ted Joans, who spray-painted “Bird Lives” throughout New York City after the death of jazz great Charlie Parker, Mr. Meredith pitched “Rock Lives” to then station manager Mel Karmazin. It became the station slogan for the next 20 years.

In 1992, when Kiwi Airlines was founded by pilots of the recently defunct Eastern Airlines, they turned to Gianettino & Meredith to market their low-cost flights. When they explained their desire to employ nonprofessional actors to save money, Mr. Meredith protested and in jest said, “I’d do it before I’d let you do that.” Their unexpected eager reply was, “You would?” For the next seven years he loaned his voice to Kiwi, serving as the spokesperson for their radio campaigns.

In 1987 he was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame of New Jersey. After 35 years in advertising, he retired in 2002.

Mr. Meredith was born in Milwaukee in 1940. The following year, his father was drafted into the Army, so during the war and afterward, as his father restarted his career, the family moved a lot. In high school he got involved in theater, and he played varsity basketball and baseball. 

For two years he pitched for the University of Arizona in Tucson on a baseball scholarship. When he decided he wasn’t going to be a pro, he transferred to Florida Southern University and earned an English degree. 

In 1964 he moved to Bloomington, Indiana, with his first wife, Ruth Meredith, with whom he had his first child, Hilary, to attend graduate school at Indiana University. There, he would meet his second wife, Beth, who replied to a Help Wanted ad that he would later call “The best ad I ever wrote.” When they married he gained a stepdaughter, Lisa. Their son Sean was born soon after, and they would later adopt another son, Daniel.

Ever passionate about arts and culture, Mr. Meredith was an avid collector of books and photographs. Together he and his wife Beth collected ceramics, art glass and sculpture. His portraits of authors were exhibited at the Grolier Club in New York City and at the Montclair and East Hampton public libraries. 

After moving to Montclair in 1977, he was a longtime resident on The Fairway and later on Upper Mountain Avenue, where his family was known in the 1990s for their scary Halloween cemetery. He and his wife moved full time to East Hampton, where the family owned a home since 1978, in 2009.

Mr. Meredith is survived by his wife, Beth; his daughters, Lisa Stewart and Hilary Meredith; his sons, Sean Meredith and Daniel Meredith; his grandchildren, Molly Stewart, Bailey Stewart, June Meredith, Charles Meredith, Heléne Meredith and Ansel Meredith, and his sister, Cindi Davenport.