With a series of after-hours cocktail parties at its four offices, Cramer-Krasselt this fall celebrates its 100th year of operation.
The lack of pomp is characteristic of the agency, which claims to be the country's oldest privately held ad operation still under its original name. "We are one of the only agencies that has operated in two '90s," said Paul Counsell, C-K's Milwaukee-based chairman.
The agency was started in Milwaukee in 1898 by Frederick "Cody" Cramer and William Krasselt, who began creating ads for The Wheelman, their publication aimed at local bicyclists. The agency set itself up for growth by opening a Chicago office in 1980 and has since added branches in Phoenix and Orlando, Fla.
On display at the centennial events will be antique goods C-K has advertised, including a "KisselKar," promoted early in the century as "The car that stands up." --Trevor Jensen