Alex Melvin, Founder and Chairman of 180 Amsterdam, Dies at 53

Agency Leader Helped Make Amsterdam a Center for International Advertising

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Alex Melvin, the co-founder and chairman of ad agency Amsterdam 180, died on Aug. 12 after battling melanoma for several years. He was 53.

Alex Melvin
Alex Melvin

Mr. Melvin started Amsterdam 180 in 1998, with partners Chris Mendola and Guy Hayward. The shop was a breakaway from Wieden & Kennedy. As an independent creative agency, Amsterdam 180 became best known for its international work for Adidas. Other clients include DHL, Mitsubishi, HBO, Omega, Seventh Generation, Sony and Western Union. In 2006, the partners sold a majority stake in Amsterdam 180 to Omnicom group, and in 2007 they opened a U.S. office in Santa Monica, CA.

"Alex will be greatly missed," said Mr. Mendola. "Those of us who worked with him have been graced by his wisdom, intelligence, passion, clarity and zest for life. His leadership and vision established the 180 spirit that exists today, and that will always carry us forward."

Mr. Melvin held the titles of managing partner and chairman at the 180 Group. He was an active member of the 180 board of directors, but due to his illness over the past few years, he was only able to play a limited role with the agency's clients and management.

A memorial will be held for Mr. Melvin in Amsterdam on Aug. 19, and he will be buried in his native Scotland. He is survived by his wife Alison and their three children. His family has set up a Facebook page for people to post thoughts, memories, photos and videos of Mr. Melvin.

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