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Mpls. Ad Agency Plans West Coast Expansion

Zeus Jones first shared its plans for a San Francisco expansion with the New York Times.

Minneapolis-based ad agency Zeus Jones said Thursday that it is expanding with a new office in San Francisco. The agency represents some major Minnesota clients, from 3M to General Mills.
 
According to the agency’s website, Zeus plans to make the move in March and hired Gareth Kay, the former chief strategy officer for San Francisco-based ad agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, to lead the new California operations. This will be Zeus’ first expansion outside of Minneapolis.
 
Zeus garnered some ink in the New York Times Wednesday after it gave the publication a sneak preview of its expansion plans.  
 
Kay will be the founding partner and owner of the new San Francisco office and will eventually become a partner for the larger agency, CEO and co-founder Rob White told the NYT.
 
Rumors of Kay’s transition from his California firm circulated last week when he edited his LinkedIn profile and listed his current employment as: “Company in Stealth Mode.”
 
Zeus’ move follows a trend of ad agencies moving to the West Coast, where there are plenty of fast-growing companies looking for fresh-faced advertising teams.
 
“We recognize fully that we haven’t and can’t make the kind of impact we want to in one place, with one office,” Adrian Ho, a co-founder and partner of Zeus Jones, told the NYT. “Hiring Gareth gives us the benefit of launching immediately [in San Francisco] with credibility.”
 
The majority of Zeus’ current clients are based in the Midwest. Christian Erickson, a third co-founding partner, told the New York paper that the agency’s process is “heavily collaborative” and that it would be most beneficial for it to be geographically close to the companies.
 
The agency said it plans for Kay to open the new San Francisco office with around four new employees, along with some additional help from the 45 full-time workers in Minneapolis. The NYT also said Zeus is promoting three executives to partners, including David Annis, head of production; Brad Surcey, head of design; and Peter Petrulo, designer.
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