Lavazza Taps Protagonist as N.A. Agency

Partnered with Magrino, Upshot

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.

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