Preparing shop: Mother adds Nike veteran to U.S. lineup

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Slowly but surely, the American offshoot of London agency Mother is coming ashore.

Three months after announcing it would set up shop in the Big Apple, the agency this week adds the fourth, and, at least for the short term, final partner to its New York City office: former Nike marketing and advertising executive Rob DeFlorio.

The 10-year veteran of Nike oversaw the company's advertising on a global basis as the company's ad director from 1999 to 2002; his tenure culminated with Nike agency Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., winning the Cannes Grand Prix for TV spot "Tag."

Mr. DeFlorio, 42, left Nike July, `02 and spent a year traveling. The Dix Hills, N.Y., native will soon return East and help build Mother's first U.S. office. The other Manhattan-based partners are Andrew Deitchman, most recently global director-marketing communications strategy and business development at WPP Group's Red Cell; and creative team Linus Karlsson and Paul Malmstrom, who came to Mother in August from Publicis Groupe's Fallon, New York.

Hiring from the marketer side is becoming a Mother tradition, said Partner Mark Waite, who noted two London partners were once on the client side. Mr. DeFlorio's "time with Nike gives him tremendous experience that he'll bring to bear everyday in New York," he said.

The job at Mother, said Mr. DeFlorio, appeals to him because its founders "have a great sense of adventure. To meet agency principals with that kind of humanity, that kind of down-to-earthness, is rare."

`friend to creatives'

Bob Moore, formerly of Wieden and currently co-president and executive creative director of Publicis in the West, Seattle, worked with Mr. DeFlorio when he was on Nike's account. "He is one of the very few ad directors [on the marketer side] who is a friend to creatives," Mr. Moore said.

Mr. DeFlorio is no stranger to agency life. His first job was withThe Marschalk Co., New York, now part of Interpublic's Lowe & Partners; he then spent three years at Chiat/Day, New York.

"The greatest to work with brave, creatively focused clients that are inventive marketers," Mr. Deitchman said. "Rob must have been the dream client. He is our dream partner."

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