Northwestern Mutual Names Olson Its Agency of Record

Win Is Latest in String of Victories for Minneapolis-Based Indie Shop

By Published on .

CHICAGO ( -- Minneapolis-based Olson continues its year-long new-business winning streak as insurer Northwestern Mutual has named the ad shop its new agency of record.

Olson will handle creative, digital, media and PR chores for Northwestern Mutual, which spent about $23 million on measured media in 2008, according to TNS Media Intelligence. The incumbent, Omnicom Group's Downtown Partners unit in Chicago, held the account since 2005.

The win is the latest in a string of victories for the fast-growing Twin Cities independent, which in the past 12 months has added brands such as Lee Jeans, Fifth Third Bank, Chinet, KraftMaid, Land O'Lakes, and Memorex to a stable that already included work for the likes of Nike, Target and General Mills.

"Northwestern Mutual was looking for a next-generation agency, one with superior integrated-marketing platforms, strong digital-media experience and a deep understanding of our brand, business model and industry," said Nag Odekar, the company's director for brand strategy and advertising, in a statement.

Added Olson President Kevin DiLorenzo in the statement: "We had a powerful edge in understanding Northwestern Mutual, because many of us at Olson -- including me -- are long-standing clients. In a sense, we've already been working together for years."

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