The nickname "Charm City" traces its origins to 1975; it grew out of creative conferences among four of the city's leading advertising executives and creative directors. Mayor William Donald Schaefer requested them to 'come up with something to promote the city. And do it now! I'm worried about this city's poor image.' " So, short answer: "Charm City" started in the mid-1970s as a promotion by one or more ad agencies.