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Executive Departures at Olson Brand/Digital Group


Today we learned that the formerly independent, Minneapolis-based Olson announced the departure of two high-ranking executives in its brand/digital group less than a month after being acquired by ICF International.

The only thing we can confirm are the names of the two who are no longer with the agency:

Capritta joined just over a year ago after managing JWT’s Minneapolis office while Fetrow left Fallon — where he served as art director — for Olson in June 2012.

Despite one tipster’s claim, CMO Mitch Caplan and CFO Scott Cheney are still with Olson as of this moment — though a source tells us that rumors of a move for Cheney may stem from the fact that changes often occur in financial departments following acquisitions.

Based on what our sources tell us, we believe that this move was more about re-alignment than downsizing; last month, a source did tell us that one of the reasons Olson chose to go with ICF was to minimize redundancies. While the press release announcing the acquisition told of “double-digit” growth during the first seven months of 2014, we hear that much of that growth occurred within units outside brand/digital (Olson Engage for PR, Olson 1to1 for loyalty/CRM, etc.).

No word on follow-ups, though we assume the agency has begun looking for replacements.

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Olson and Trulia Scare Up Some Halloween Laughs

Olson may have been acquired by consulting firm ICF International this week, but this new, extended spot for client Trulia shows that the no-longer-independent agency is still doing what it does.

The agency tells us that the fear in the eyes and voices of these spooked house-hunters is real and that the whole thing was captured via hidden camera unbeknownst to any of the people involved.

As for whether that’s true…you be the judge. Now who’s scarier: the dolls or grandma? (Honestly, we’ve seen far worse on Craigslist.)

The work is attributed to Olson Engage and production company Three Volts.

Olson Acquired; No Real Changes to Report


Last night after we left the office, we learned that another chapter in the history of independent agencies has closed with the acquisition of Minneapolis-based Olson by ICF International. (Law firm Hogan Lovells advised the parties on the deal.)

What is ICF? It’s a D.C.-based “provider of consulting services and technology solutions to government and commercial clients” that wanted to expand on the “customer engagement, e-commerce and system-integration” services it offers to clients in the public and private sectors.

The basic idea is that ICF, which was previously able to make recommendations to its clients regarding their marketing strategies, can now follow through on that advice via campaign execution.

It’s also worth noting that, while Olson still made the lists of top indie agencies before this week, its owner John Olson did sell to the private equity group KRG Capital Partners back in 2009.

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Group Creative Director Brock Davis Leaves OLSON for space150

Brock Olson

This morning Minneapolis digital agency space150 announced the hiring of “multi-disciplinary artist” and agency veteran Brock Davis, most recently GCD at OLSON, in the same role effective immediately.

Davis has worked in the industry for nearly two decades. ECD Brian Ritchie writes that the hire ”helps expand our content creation expertise while also elevating our design offering.”

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Bissell Names Olson Agency of Record

olsonlogoTop-selling floor-care appliance brand Bissell has named Minneapolis-based independent agency Olson its agency of record, shifting creative, media, strategy, digital, PR, social and analytics to Olson. Those duties were previously held jointly by creative agency Cramer-Krasselt and media agency PHD.

“It was important for us to find an agency that could handle all of the aspects of an integrated campaign, and Olson’s ability to provide an integrated solution with strong analytics helped them stand out,” explained Theresa Junkunc, director of marketing communications for BISSELL.

The win is the latest in a run of new business for Olson since September 2013, in which they’ve AOR duties for brands such as Sharp Electronics, Supercuts, Wet n Wild Beauty, Commerce Bank, Aurora Healthcare and the McDonald’s Twin Cities Co-Op.

“We’re thrilled by this opportunity to help a category leader reach new heights through innovation and integration,” said Olson chief executive officer John Partilla. “We can’t wait to get started.”