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Lewis Lazare follows Chicago media and marketing news

Recently in Tom Dick & Harry Advertising/Chicago Category

Joe Schmitt has joined Tom, Dick & Harry/Chicago as director of digital strategy. Schmitt, who joins TD&H on March 14, most recently oversaw digital strategy at Burrell Advertising/Chicago. At Burrell he worked on Toyota, McDonald's, General Mills, American Airlines and Procter & Gamble brands.

In 2009, Schmitt won a national Shorty Award nomination for humor for his Tweets. A self-taught, code-level digital programmer, Schmitt is a University of Chicago graduate.

Schmitt will succeed Stephen Para, who spend a month in Thailand recently after departing the agency. He is now working on a documentary about his experiences there and guest lecturing at Roosevelt University about them impact of social media on the revolutions that have recently shook the Middle East.

A nice win for Tom, Dick & Harry/Chicago. The agency has been awarded digital, branding, print and public relations duties for clothing chain Mark Shale. The win comes just days after Mark Shale announced it has hired fashion designer Maria Pinto as creative director for women's fashion.

TD&H won the account following an agency review. TD&H was awarded the business after "demonstrating a keen understanding of our brand, as well as what is needed to leverage our new relationship with Maria Pinto," according to Mark Shale CEO Scott Baskin. "TD&H demonstrated the creative sensitivity that we feel is necessary to adequately communicate what Mark Shale will be all about," added Pinto.

The agency's initial duties will include a complete website revamp to reflect the new brand direction for the Chicago-based men's and women's fashion retailer.

Tom Dick & Harry Advertising/Chicago has been named social media agency of record for Fathead, a sports and entertainment graphic products firm. TD&H will work with Fathead's marketing team to create content and campaigns for the brand's social media channels. "We have a fun brand and a great line of products, so we are often approached by agencies that want to work with us," said Jake Mahoney, senior media manager at Fathead. "Tom Dick & Harry's special combination of sports experience, passion and social media savvy is what led us to a partnership with them," added Mahoney.

"Our sports knowledge and our experience with clients such as the Chicago Bulls, Fox Sports' Big Ten TV Network and others should serve us and Fathead well," said Stephen Para, digital director at TD&H.

Tom, Dick & Harry Advertising/Chicago has added three clients to its roster, quite a feat in these tough times. TD&H has been retained as advertising agency of record for Roosevelt University. This comes on the heels of the development and launch of a multi-media campaign to support the announcement and construction of Roosevelt's new 32-story vertical campus in the loop.

The agency also is launching a new branding campaign for Premier Dermatology, Illinois' largest dermatology practice and one of the nation's largest. According to Premier exec Corky Bellile, the new campaign will "focus on helping consumers understand the difference between the so-called med spas and an organization like Premier, which has a practicing staff comprised of board-certified dermatologists." The campaign breaks late summer.

Finally, TD&H has been added to the agency roster of Lincolnshire-based ACCO Brands Corp., a supplier of office products. "We are delighted to be working with an agency with the creative horsepower that TD&H brings to the table," said Katherine Riley, a brand manager at Swingline, a unit of ACCO.

According to Don Brashears, TD&H co-managing partner, the year 2010 is turning into the best year in the agency's eight-year history. The agency is preparing to occupy 5,000 square feet of additional space at its current location in River North.

StayWell Custom Communications, a division of MediMedia USA, has tapped Tom, Dick & Harry/Chicago, for a re-branding effort. StayWell serves hundreds of clients representing several channels in the healthcare industry, including hospitals and health systems, health plans, employers and retail pharmacies. SCC has offices in Evanston, Salt Lake City and Yardley, Pa.

In a review that began last year, TD&H bested more than a dozen agencies to get the assignment. Noted Bob Volkman, TD&H creative partner: "A lot of our new business comes via referrals from people we've worked with before, and in this case we were initially recommended by a former colleague. There's always a little added pressure to do well when someone you know is counting on you."

Call them the little -- or not so little really -- ad agency that can perform. Even in the toughest of times. We're talking about Tom, Dick & Harry/Chicago, which informed us it achieved 12 percent growth in 2009, with billings that now exceed $25 million. Now TD&H is now looking for a larger space to house the agency in the Gallery District in River North.

TD&H partners Bob Volkman, David Yang, Michael Herlehy, Greg Reifel and Don Brashears reported that the eight-year-old agency grew in 2009 from existing clients including the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Mission Investment Fund, as well as new clients including Bally Total Fitness and new assignments from Peoples Gas, AirCell, Premier Dermatology and Discover Card. TD&H's digital unit also turned in a strong performance in 2009.

Tom Dick & Harry/Chicago has been named social media agency of record for Canyon Ranch, the Tucson, Ariz.-based operator of wellness resorts, hotels, condominiums and spas. "Our relationship with Canyon Ranch has grown organically over the past couple of years, and we are thrilled to be leading this important new initiative," said Stephen Para, digital director at TD&H.

The agency will lead an effort that will include social media strategy and implementation. "More and more of our client relationships are evolving to recognize the growing importance of social media," said Greg Reifel, TD&H co-managing partner, "and our focus there has increased dramatically in just the past year." After a two-month-long, multiple-agency preliminary competition, TD&H bested San Francisco's Loomis Group in the finals.

A bit of good news on the Michael Herlehy front. Don Brashears of Tom Dick & Harry Advertising/Chicago, tells us Herlehy, who is a founding partner at the agency, was back in Chicago recently to visit his family for a few days. Herlehy has been staying in Houston, where is undergoing extensive treatment for a recurrence of Hodgkin's cancer. Brashears said Herlehy came to the TD&H office for a couple of hours and was in good spirits. Brashears also told us Herlehy's treatment is still in the early stages, and it is still unclear when he can receive the planned bone marrow transplantation. But Brashears is hopeful Herlehy may be back at the agency around Sept. 1.

Meanwhile, the Herlehys have announced they are expecting their third child in September. Congrats are in order!



About the blogger

Lewis Lazare has written the Media Mix column for the Chicago Sun-Times for the past seven and a half years.

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