Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Charles Roy Stanley (1899–1954)

by Gail Reekie

This article was published:

Charles Roy Stanley (1899-1954), advertising executive and publicist, was born on 2 March 1899 at Karangahake, New Zealand, son of Thomas James Stanley, miner, and his wife Julia Elsie, née Robinson, both from Thames, New Zealand. Roy was educated at Te Aroha Public School and Pau College, Auckland, and worked as a draper for G. Court & Sons. Enlisting in the Auckland Regiment, New Zealand Expeditionary Force, on 11 October 1915, he was wounded in Belgium in 1917 and discharged on 2 March 1919. Stanley then went to China as manager of the Chiang-Chow branch of the British American Tobacco Co. Moving to Sydney in 1921, he was employed in the production department of Parke, Davis & Co. In New Zealand from 1923 he worked for two years as manager of the Dunedin branch of Gordon and Gotch (Australasia) Ltd, advertising agents, and for a year with the country's leading advertising agency, J. Ilott Ltd. On 3 April 1924 he married Gladys Reeve Holme in Wellington.

Settling in Sydney in 1926 as manager of Ilott's Australian operations, Stanley founded (1928) and was secretary (until 1954) of the Australian Association of National Advertisers. Largely due to his efforts the Audit Bureau of Circulation was established in 1931: it required newspaper proprietors to provide reliable and verifiable circulation figures. He contributed numerous articles to trade papers like the Advertisers' Monthly, mostly on the association and bureau, but periodically on such subjects as agency contracts, waste and inefficiency in expenditure, and local government restrictions on outdoor advertising.

He served on the committee of the New Zealand and South Seas International Exhibition (Dunedin, 1925-26), managed the Australian Manufacturers' Exhibition (Sydney, 1927), organized the exhibition held concurrently with the sixth Australian Advertising Convention in 1931 and was a member of the construction committee for the Australian pavilions at New York's World's Fair (1939). Stanley was a foundation committee-member of the Sydney Publicity Club from 1929 and honorary foundation secretary of the Outdoor Advertising Association of Australia from 1939 until he retired. President for ten years of the New Zealand sub-branch of the Returned Sailors' and Soldiers' Imperial League of Australia in the 1930s, he was also honorary Australian liaison officer of the New Zealand Returned Services Association and organized the national clothing collection for overseas relief in 1945. He belonged to the New South Wales and Mona Vale golf clubs.

Having been divorced in September 1940, Stanley married Gertrude Alice Pidcock on 23 October at Randwick, where they lived; they had no children. Stanley was killed on 12 September 1954 in a motor car accident at Pymble and was buried with Methodist forms in Botany cemetery. His wife survived him.

Select Bibliography

  • E. G. Knox (ed), The Advertisers' and Publishers' Guide of Australia and New Zealand (Syd, 1935)
  • Audit Bureau of Circulations, Twenty-Five Years (Syd, 1957)
  • Australasian Manufacturer, 17 Dec 1927, p 9, 24 Dec 1927, special exhibition no, p 31
  • Newspaper News (Sydney), Dec 1928, p 1, Apr 1931, p i, Sept 1938, p 2, Oct 1954
  • SPC, Nov 1930, p 1, Apr 1931, p 3
  • Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 13 Sept 1954
  • Sydney Morning Herald, 13 Sept 1954.

Citation details

Gail Reekie, 'Stanley, Charles Roy (1899–1954)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1990, accessed online 5 March 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 12, (Melbourne University Press), 1990

View the front pages for Volume 12

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2024

Life Summary [details]


2 March, 1899
Karangahake, New Zealand


12 September, 1954 (aged 55)
Pymble, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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