UBR Spotlight: FUSE Advertising CEO Clifford Franklin

This week on The Urban Business Roundtable, UBR contributor Samantha Pass speaks with Clifford Franklin, the president and CEO of FUSE, an integrated advertising agency based in St. Louis, Missouri. FUSE, ranked No. 10 on the 2011 BE 100s Advertising Agencies list with $8.4 million in revenues, generated annual billings of more than $71 million last year, with clients including CNN, Anheuser Busch and IBM. FUSE was also the advertising agency of record for the historic Obama for President campaign in 2008.

FUSE has earned numerous awards and recognition, including being the first Black-owned agency to win “Best of Show” in local, regional and nationally Addy Awards competitions, held by the American Advertising Federation. Franklin, who was motivated to start the firm in 1997 in an effort to change the way minorities are portrayed in advertising, was named Advertising Executive of the Year by Target Market News in 2009. Franklin joins the Roundtable to share how he put his best foot forward on his journey to become an agent of change in the advertising industry.

Also, UBR contributor Renita D. Young speaks with veteran public relations strategist Cheryl Duncan of Cheryl Duncan & Company Public Relations. A top event management specialist, Duncan specializes in entertainment and social projects, counting the New York African Film Festival, JazzMobile and annual conference events of the Congressional Black Caucus among her successful assignments. Duncan, a highly sought after consultant, joins the Roundtable to share how entrepreneurs can optimize their public relations efforts to achieve maximum results.

And finally, every week on UBR, you’ll hear my top strategies for entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners in my “Alfred’s Notepad” segment, get motivation and inspiration from author and entrepreneurial icon Farrah Gray, a weekly wrap-up of business news from USA Today business correspondent Charisse Jones, our Patient Investor Report from Ariel Investments and key economic intelligence for small business owners from our UBR economists Derrick Collins and Rasheed Carter.

If you have a question you want answered or a topic you want addressed on The Urban Business Roundtable, connect with me at BE Insider, the social media network for people who are serious about Black Enterprise. You can also find me on Twitter and Facebook.

Alfred Edmond Jr. is the senior VP/editor-at-large of Black Enterprise and the host of the Urban Business Roundtable, a weekly radio show, sponsored by Ariel Investments, airing CST Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m., Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. on WVON-AM 1690, the Talk of Chicago. You can also listen live online at WVON.com. Check back each week for UBR Spotlight, which features additional resources, advice and information from and about the topics, entrepreneurs and experts featured on the show.

See highlights from the 2012 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo hosted by Nationwide, May 23-26, at the Hilton Chicago Hotel in Chicago, IL. Check out exclusive video and photo galleries of innovative sessions and high-powered speakers at www.blackenterprise.com/ec/