Counton Looks to Build Broadus

Veteran Midwest advertising executive Ronald Counton has arrived at Broadus & Associates to help the agency “turn it up a notch.”

Counton, 50, joins the $18 million Atlanta agency as chief operating officer and executive vice president. Most recently director of client services at Henderson Advertising in Greenville, S.C., Counton previously worked at several Minneapolis agencies, including a partnership at Martin Williams. He was also at Foote, Cone & Belding in Chicago.

Counton said he and creative director Bob Warren joined Henderson intending to buy the agency. When that did not occur and Warren left for Fitzgerald & Co. here, “I found myself trapped in Greenville,” he said. “Atlanta looked real good.”

Broadus, a 20-year-old agency with a client list tilted to real estate and tourism, “needs to become more diversified. We need more b-to-b, more healthcare, take on a few choice dot-coms,” Counton said. “We’ve got to build this place right, and I’ve done it before.”

He said the South has risen since he attended monthly “badvertising” parties in Minneapolis, where agency executives would ridicule the worst work.

“The South was always good for that,” Counton recalled. “Goody’s headache powder, Nascar, that stuff was always the worst . . . but Atlanta’s come around. I look around, I see Luke Sullivan, Bob Warren, the Huey/Paprocki guys. Atlanta’s really turned into a good option for relocating.”