Figliulo&Partners Hires Former New York Times VP of Ad Innovation to Lead Distribution Team

By Patrick Coffee Comment

Figliulo&Partners, the New York agency that handles such accounts as CNN, Buffalo Wild Wings and Seabourn Cruise Lines, is humming along quite nicely five years in.

This week, the shop founded by former TBWA CCO Mark Figliulo went to the media side to announce a particularly interesting hire: Nick Van Amburg, former VP of ad innovation for The New York Times.

Van Amburg will hold the title head of distribution, effectively managing the planning side of the agency’s business that ranges from PR to activations, social, new technology and good old fashioned paid advertising.

The distribution team, which we’re told symbolizes F&P’s transcendence of more traditional approaches to media, came together in 2017. Van Amburg will lead this crew (which is now 15 strong) across all disciplines moving forward.

Partner and president Judith Carr-Rodriguez called the hire “a huge win for the agency and its clients,” adding, “Nick’s commitment to innovation will enable us to fulfill the considerable demand we have seen from our clients for this kind of progressive media thinking.”

The fact that he’s “both extremely smart and a nice chap” certainly didn’t hurt.

The incoming leader spent more than three years at the Grey Lady, where he helped lead the R&D team Story [x], overseeing its creative strategy and design staff in addition to managing the Times’ partnerships with 24 top clients and serving as business lead for related tech ventures and assembling teams to create new solutions to those companies’ marketing needs.

“I believe that the future of advertising belongs to agencies that can harness innovation to meet the continued transformation of media consumption,” said Van Amburg in a statement, calling his new employer “perfectly positioned to thrive in our networked world, to expand on how stories are experienced and rethink how brands bring value to their customers.”

In addition to Van Amburg, F&P has also recently expanded the creative department under Scott Vitrone, the former W+K and Barton F. Graf creative who became its first CCO last year:

  • Creative director Spencer Lavallee
  • Design director Max Friedman
  • Copywriter Reilly Schlitt
  • Art director Kelsey Heard
  • Creative director Mark Bielik
  • Creative director Ross Fletcher
  • Copywriter Tim Smith
  • Art director Alex Graber
  • Creative director Masataka Kawano
  • Senior copywriter Renwick McAslan
  • Senior art director Alexandra Parodi
  • Copywriter Stephanie Vicari

Vitrone cited the “talent is everything” mantra in explaining his approach to building the organization.

“As F&P approaches its five year anniversary, we’re proud to have built a home for creative minds across all departments,” he said.

Now here’s a recent campaign from one of the agency’s newest clients, Buffalo Wild Wings.