Mono Brings In Strategy Chief

After 10 years at Publicis Groupe’s Fallon, where he helped start the agency’s connection-planning discipline, John Blackburn has joined 1-year-old mono as director of strategy.

Blackburn, 37, becomes the eighth full-time employee at mono in Minneapolis, which is partly owned by MDC Partners. At Fallon, his credits included helping to put together the strategy behind BMW Films. “I was looking for the opportunity to work in a small company environment,” said Blackburn, who earlier spent five years at Interpublic Group’s Campbell Mithun. “I wanted a chance to be involved in more.”

At mono, whose clients include Airstream and Sesame Workshop, Blackburn said he plans to take on a broader role than planning. “My contribution will range from brand and marketing strategy to communication planning,” he said.

The move reunites him with mono founders Michael Hart and Chris Lange, both also Fallon alumni. “Our vision is to create an agency in which the clients have access to the top talent in the industry,” said Hart, the creative director. “[Blackburn] represents some really smart and unique thinking.”

A native of Minneapolis, Blackburn joined Campbell Mithun shortly after graduating from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a degree in political science. He joined Fallon and helped the shop start its connection- planning discipline, which essentially melds account planning with media planning.