To service these accounts, Ferguson and Williams Osse—two of Black Enterprise’s Most Powerful Executives in Marketing & Advertising—expanded the firm’s portfolio of advertising, media relations, research, and engagement marketing services in 2008 to include digital solutions through new technology and social media. To bring the firm into the interactive era, they hired Donald Moore, a former agency team leader at Google, in 2009 as president of the new digital department, which has created campaigns such as American Airlines’ Black Atlas and Toyota’s award-winning “If Looks Could Kill.” Because of these bold, deliberate decisions, Burrell hasn’t lost a single client even in the midst of the Great Recession and a sluggish economic recovery. “It has been phenomenal the last few years,” offers Moore. “The economy was tough, but if you looked at our new business track record lately, both co-CEOs have led teams that have brought new business in house. So, that leadership has been extraordinary.”
Walking into Burrell’s corporate headquarters in downtown Chicago, you’re overwhelmed by the creativity and dynamism. Overflowing with art, campaign images, and awards, the offices buzz with activity from a mix of professionals diverse in age and ethnicity. It is evident that Tom Burrell’s protégés are staying true to his legacy but also driving relevant messages to the ever-changing needs of the marketplace. For its industrywide leadership, unparalleled client service, and innovative delivery of powerful, positive images and messages to the African American community, Black Enterprise has named Burrell Communications Group L.L.C. our 2011 Advertising Agency of the Year.
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