100 years. Let’s do that again.

In 1921, no one would have believed a lean startup from Omaha would grow into a global ad agency. Buying back our independence was also completely unexpected. We’ve come full circle, but if past is prologue, we know the next 100 years will be equally exciting. We hope you’ll join us for the ride.

Leo Bozell and Morris Jacobs started the agency while maintaining employment at the Omaha World Herald (we were essentially a side hustle). Leo works by day while Morris works at night, so they share one desk. They didn’t have a phone the first year. 

MGM filmed Boys Town starring Spencer Tracy as Father Edward J. Flanagan, one of our first clients. Union Pacific, Mutual of Omaha and the College World Series were also on the roster.  

By 1975, our billings reached $100 million and we were one of the nation’s top 20 ad agencies. Clients included Godfather’s Pizza, American Airlines, Lee Jeans, Greyhound Bus and the National Ad Council.

1980s & 90s
In 1986, we merged with Kenyon & Eckhardt to form Bozell Worldwide – the 14th largest advertising agency in the world. We created the iconic Milk Moustache campaign and “Pork. The other white meat.”

An acquisition by Interpublic Group almost brought our story to a close. Instead, we bought back our independence to maintain the values, culture and priorities we hold dear. From that point on, we’ve had top-tier credentials combined with the heart of an independent firm.

Bozell becomes officially women-owned and is certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). Kim Mickelsen and Robin Donovan were both part of the buy-back in 2001, and Jackie Miller joined the team in 2016. Lots of female power in these walls.

We end an era as Kim Mickelsen and Robin Donovan step down, and a new ownership team takes their place – Jackie Miller, Laura Spaulding and Andrew Spaulding. However, Kim and Robin remain a part of the Bozell team as board members and advisory council.

We remain as optimistic as ever, embracing technological and demographic changes to support our clients and their missions. We’re also challenging ourselves to support those who aspire to change the world. Yes, it’s a bit ambitious, but considering our past, we wouldn’t have it any other way.