Nelson Exits Toth, Weighs Options

By Judy Warner

BOSTON–Gordon Nelson, a strategic planner originally hired as general manager by Toth Design and Advertising in Concord, Mass., has left the agency.

‘I was fired,’ Nelson said. ‘It was a case of Michael (Toth) shooting the messenger.’

Agency principal Toth disputed that assertion. ‘I took a chance. I thought Gordon, who is very strategic in his thinking, might become a different kind of general manager.’

Toth said he tried to fit Nelson into different roles within the agency better suited to his experience in strategic marketing. ‘The culture of our shop is very different. It’s very caring and nurturing but it’s not for everyone,’ Toth said.

Nelson acknowledged that his duties at Toth varied, shifting from general manager to new business director to strategic marketing counsel. At one time, Nelson worked at Fallon McElligott in Minneapolis. He left Fallon to join Kelley Habib John in North Andover, Mass., after it landed the account of Continental Bank in Chicago. Later, he resigned that post to take a strategic planning job at Pagano Schenck & Kay. About a year ago he left Pagano to join Toth Design and Advertising.

His strength lies in strategic planning for financial services companies, Nelson said. Even so, during his tenure at Toth, the agency successfully went after the business of fashion-oriented clients as Stride Rite Corp.’s Keds division (which it has since lost) and Swatch. Toth continues to work for Stride Rite children’s products and the Hilfiger brand of footwear that the Cambridge, Mass., company is licensed to make.

Until a replacement is found, Ted Ford Web, a consultant who works for Toth Design and Advertising four days a week, will serve as acting general manager, Toth said.

Nelson is weighing his options. He is considering a venture into business with Laurie Barham, a strategic planner who operates Laurie & Co. in Marblehead, Mass., he said.

Barham also worked at Fallon McElligott and Toth Design and Advertising hired her to help formulate strategies for the Swatch pitch. She also freelanced for Mullen in Wenham, Mass., helping formulate the winning pitch for the General Motors Certified Used Vehicles account.

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Publish date: April 28, 1997 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT