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Posts Tagged ‘John Partilla’

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.”

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Sharp Shifts Gears from McGarryBowen to Olson


It looks like Sharp isn’t planning to just work with small roster shops next year after all. Just days after we reported that the electronics brand and McGarryBowen’s relationship was coming to an end, Sharp has announced that it’s named Minneapolis-based Olson as its new North American agency of record. Mark Viken, Sharp VP/brand marketing, says in a statement, “We were deeply impressed by Olson’s strategic thinking and creativity. We’re looking forward to a great relationship.” Olson will handle the usual duties that come with the AOR title including advertising, digital and design for Sharp, which we’ve been told is placing heavy emphasis on the digital portion moving forward.

As we mentioned previously, McGarryBowen’s deal with Sharp will draw to a close at the end of the year, thus Olson, whose CEO John Partilla‘s  relationship with the brand dates back to his Dentsu days (which probably didn’t hurt matters), will take over as AOR effective Jan. 1, 2014.

Olson Makes Some Changes to Brand/Digital Group


On this Friday late afternoon, we don’t want to spare the preamble but here’s what occurred today at Minneapolis-based agency Olson, whose CEO John Partilla (who took over at the beginning of the year) had to say to staff, verbatim. Let it roll.

“FROM: John Partilla

TO: Minneapolis Employees; Toronto Employees; Chicago Employees; San Francisco Employees


Hello All,

Read more

Olson COO Murphy Takes On New Title

Just to soothe the usual doomsday tips, we’ve been told by those in the know that Margaret Murphy‘s position as chief operating officer at Olson is indeed being eliminated, but the exec is very much within the fold at the Minneapolis-based agency. Murphy will now take on the role of president at Olson’s 1:1 loyalty marketing unit, which works with likes of Amtrak, Best Buy and Toys “R” Us, as president. From what we’ve been told, the role shift is part of a “flattening” of sorts of leadership at the agency courtesy of CEO John Partilla, who took over for Kevin DiLorenzo at the beginning of the year.

Murphy most recently served as president/COO at the agency and was part of the initial leadership team when Olson joined forces with Denali Marketing back in 2010. During her career, Murphy also spent nearly two decades at fellow Twin Cities operation Carlson Marketing Group, where she last served as SVP, client services.

Partilla Takes Over as Olson CEO

Once again, good on ya, tipsters. A major changing of the guards has indeed taken place at Minneapolis agency, Olson, as John Partilla has succeeded Kevin DiLorenzo as CEO. Partilla joins Olson from Dentsu Network West (which includes McGarryBowen, Firstborn and 360i), where he spent the last two years as chief operating officer of the Americas, Europe and Australia.

In a statement, the new chief exec (you know, this guy) says, “It’s a wonderful honor to have been selected to build on the strong foundation in place at Olson, which does great business- and brand-building work with smart and breakthrough creative. Olson’s holistic model is truly the real deal. More and more, you’re going to see us punching above our weight.”

As for DiLorenzo, a 10-year Olson vet who took over for John Olson as CEO back in 2010, the outgoing exec is not necessarily “out” at the agency as tipsters are telling us. The Olson camp says that he will “remain active with the agency as a significant shareholder, director and senior adviser to Partilla, playing an active role in ensuring a smooth transition.” Take that for what you will, but anyhow, the incoming CEO will now lead the indie agency’s client roster that includes Amtrak, Best Buy, MillerCoors, Northwestern Mutual, Target, Saucony and Wrigley.

Prior to his time at Dentsu, Partilla held senior-level posts at Time Warner, Clear Channel and spent nearly two decades at Y&R, where he founded and served as CEO of its BrandBuzz unit.

Today’s Ad Industry Scandal: John Partilla’s Strange Love Story

Love blossoms in mysterious ways, and in the case of ad exec John Partilla and former WNBC reporter Carol Anne Riddell, it destroyed two marriages as a result. Partilla, in case you didn’t know, just recently left Clear Channel to take on the COO post at Dentsu Network West.

As the love story goes, according to the NY Times, Partilla and Riddell, both married with children, met in a pre-K classroom in 2006 at an Upper West Side school which both parties’ kids attended. Over the next two years, Partilla and Riddell and their respective spouses became friends, but the dynamic changed between the two after the former invited the latter out for a drink. With spouses absent, Riddell tells the NYT that Partilla told her, “I’ve fallen in love with you.” She said she quickly left the bar, but returned five minutes later to tell him, “I feel the exact same way.” The end result: a separation from their spouses and an eventual marriage earlier last month at the Mandarin Oriental.

The Partilla-Riddell saga was essentially revealed when the couple’s wedding announce appeared in this past Sunday’s “Vows” section, in turn spawning its share of supporters and detractors and ultimately earning scorn from Kathie Lee Gifford this week on the happy hour known as the Today show’s 10-11am timeslot. Over the years at AgencySpy, we’ve been privy to tips about various indiscretions within the walls of agencies, and compared to some of the horror stories we’ve heard, this is surprisingly not quite as egregious.

Our recently relaunched sister site, TVSpy, has more on this story here.