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Erickson, McLellan split


Citing philosophical differences, Jana Erickson said she’s quitting the advertising and marketing agency she co-founded eight years ago, Erickson McLellan, to open her own firm.

“We’re strong-willed people and when you want things your way… I’m ready for something a little bit smaller, a little more efficient,” she said. Her company will be called the Erickson Agency.

Co-founder Drew McLellan will be the sole stockholder of the existing corporation, which will be called McLellan Marketing Group. He has retained the company’s seven employees and headquarters at 1430 Locust St. Erickson, meantime, retains custody of the company’s cats, which received a mention on Erickson McLellan’s web site, www.justoffcenter.com.

The “philosophical difference” Erickson mentioned comes down to whether to emphasize creativity or strategy. Erickson and McLellan agree that both are necessary, but disagree over which should take prominance.

“Creativity is important, but you have to have a foundation of really solid strategy,” McLellan said. “If you don’t sell more of the client’s widgets, it doesn’t matter how great the creative (campaign) is. People don’t say ‘I want a really funny ad.’ They say ‘I need more customers, or to retain the clients I have.'”

“Creative solutions can be very powerful, and I believe in that power,” Erickson said. “You have to have good branding and strategy behind it, but a creative solution can make advertising not just effective, but amazing.”

Now Erickson is looking for a new office. She would like her company to have four employees. Although she likes the wealth of expertise in various specialties a larger firm can offer, small companies are “more cohesive.”

McLellan is currently focused on launching his company’s new brand. “A brand is more than a name, a logo and a slogan,” he said. “It is heart and soul of the organization.”  

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