I know in the really early years people voted based on the studio they were contracted to. What happened in the 50s, 60s etc after the studio system ended? Was there ever a time when voting was uninfluenced?
Before the studio system went down, either a manager or agent or something to that affect campagined for both Olivia de Havilland in TO EACH HIS OWN and Rosalind Russell in MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA.
Also, the first studio advertising for oscar consideration came in the mid 30’s for AH! WILDERNESS by MGM. It got nothing out of it.
I’m pretty sure that Henry Rodgers is the man you’re referring to. Warner Bros. and Joan Crawford first hired him to engineer her Oscar campaign for Mildred Pierce. His work was so effective that Olivia requested his services the next year and the same with Rosalind. Only his luck ran out with the latter–apparently as Mourning Becomes Electra was such a snoozefest. Had Susan Hayward been the one to hire him instead I believe she would have been the victor instead of Loretta Young.