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Lavazza Taps Protagonist as N.A. Agency

Partnered with Magrino, Upshot
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Italian coffee brand Lavazza has named its first North American agency lead, Protagonist, which is working on the business with public relations firm Susan Magrino Agency and in-store specialist Upshot.

The companies won the business after a review which included other undisclosed competitors. There was no incumbent. Last year, Lavazza spent $323,853 on advertising, per Nielsen. (That amount excludes digital spending and business-to-business marketing.)  

Protagonist will serve as the creative, strategic and social media lead on the Italian coffee brand. In Europe, where Lavazza works with Armando Testa, the brand has a colorful history of advertising, including a 2010 commercial featuring Julia Roberts, who reportedly received more than $1 million to appear in a nonspeaking role. (Roberts pal George Clooney, meanwhile, has fronted for Nespresso, a European rival of Lavazza's.)

N.Y.-based Protagonist was founded in 2008 by Jordan Rednor, former president and COO of what was then Draft Worldwide; and Tom Cotton, previously president of DDB Ventures, DDB Integrated Solutions Group.