ron anderson and his "kids"
Roland “Ron” Anderson has been called the “godfather of Minneapolis advertising.”

True, he’s retired. But some of Ron’s “kids” still think about him often. So we decided to create this blog. To share some stories, a few memories, and lots of “lessons learned.”

If you’d like to join our little community, please let us know. We’d love to have you!

SIDEBAR: Do you recognize anyone in this photo?


  1. I see my comment was listed as Anonymous. It should have said, Joe O’Neill.


  2. Though we served on the board of the One Show together for a while, I only had occasion to talk one on one to Ron a couple of times.

    The most memorable was when he moved to New York to take over the creative helm of his agency’s headquarters office.

    I asked him how it was going.

    He told me he was having difficulty getting anything accomplished.

    “Why is that?” I asked.

    He smiled and said, “When I was in Minneapolis, I didn’t get nearly as much help.”

    That alone made me wish I knew him better.

    Joe O’Neill


  3. Gary LaMaster · · Reply

    Just realized that I neglected to comment on this. I was well-established by the time I actually worked with Ron. But I met him long before. As a young copywriter, it was encouraging to know that he also felt that Minneapolis agencies could compete with any in the world. He recognized talent and he nurtured creatives no matter where they worked. If you created a good ad, he let you know it. He was competitive and passionate. But Ron placed individuals and their work above agency rivalries and personal success. Wish there were more like him.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Anonymous · · Reply

    I worked for Ron for 2 years. When I told him once that I thought I was out of ideas, he said, “No, you’re not, get back to work.” I went on to head my own agency, Schmitt & Sloan for 15 years, and then write 34 mystery novels, several of which hit the New York Times Bestseller List. Clearly, Ron was right.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Paul, of course you can “draft off this blog.”
    To me, this is the BEST COMMENT EVER posted!
    (And I think you’re a prince for doing this.)


  6. Paul Asao · · Reply

    First off, thanks David (and Susan) for putting this blog together. So I hope you don’t mind me drafting off this blog to spread the word about a “Thanks Ron” video in the works.

    The ask is simple. To thank Ron in the form of a video.

    It could be those who had the opportunity to work with Ron in various agency roles. Or perhaps clients or industry peers. Or perhaps you were simply inspired by his work.

    What we’d like from you:

    1) A short 5-10 second video clip, thanking Ron for his role in their career or lives. Serious or funny, it doesn’t matter. e.g. “ Thanks for hiring me when no one else would” or “You never once laughed at my lame ads. Thanks.”
    Don’t worry about the picture quality. Smartphones would be fine.
    To simplify and allow for more edit options you could complete this statement:
    “Thank you, Ron for… (succinct sentence or 2 on the specific thing for which you’d like to thank him.)

    2) Also include a short variation of a “Thanks Ron” soundbite.

    3) Longer anecdotes, stories or thanks are welcomed, and hopefully we can add these to the mix.

    It would be wonderful to get as many submissions as possible over the next few weeks, after which we’ll be editing the video.

    Here is the link where you can up link your clips to:

    We understand that people lead busy lives so if you can’t do a video, perhaps submit a short written thanks or anecdote. You can send those to me if you’d like at paul@paulasao.com

    Please spread the word about this.
    And thanks in advance for your submissions.
    Feel free to contact me with anything that might help honor the man that means so much to us.

    Best, Paul

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Yes we agree. (And when it comes from an ad legend like you, Mr. Weyl, it means so much more!) Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.


  8. Tom Weyl · · Reply

    Ron not only inspired his own creative staff he inspired other agencies to do better work. He’s the key reason Minneapolis became a national creative powerhouse.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I remember when I was CD at then, Bozell Kamstra, we won the Fujitsu account out of Tokyo. He just said to me, “be careful with international advertising. Chevy named a car Nova, and in Mexico, it meant ‘no go”, and he left the room. Like Kurt said, he just handed you the keys. Later, I found out he flew to Australia in coach, and I thought that this man certainly had the wherewithall to fly at least business class. I asked him about it later, and he said that he did it because the friends he was flying with didn’t have the money to fly First Class, so he didn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Rex Anderson · · Reply

    Thank you for this site! Ron is my dad. People ask me if he was living in a “Mad Men” world when he work in advertising. Well maybe if Don Draper went to church every Sunday & Wednesday, stayed 100% faithful to his wife, didn’t drink, smoke, and cuss, then yeah he was a real Mad. Man (ha ha). I’ so proud of my dad. I really relish in reading and hearing all about the relationships he forged with everybody in the Mpls (and NY) advertising community. Thank you all again for sharing your stories!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Rex, your Dad is truly remarkable. (And based on your thoughtful comment, I’d say some of it’s rubbed off on you!) Thanks for your enthusiastic response to our little blog!!


  11. Ron Anderson…WOW… (friend and mentor) Is why I am an illustrator still today. I was just a young man in 1976 working at the SOO RR as a diesel mechanic who could do cartoons pretty good. While he was looking at my art in his office at Bozell Jacobs He made a call to Art Center College of Design in CA. He said “you should go there.” So I did. Changed my life! He was big influence on me spiritually also. Thanks Ron!

    Tom Foty

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tom, great story! I think Ron was born with a sixth sense for spotting raw talent. And my hat’s off to you for having the courage and faith to leave family and home behind to attend what’s probably still the best art school in the country!


  12. Laurie Whobrey · · Reply

    Unlike many of you I didn’t know my Uncle Ron through work. I know him as my fathers favorite brother. He has always been a wonderful uncle and stand up guy. He started from meager beginnings playing baseball with a sock! And a very large family that raced home for the pork in the pork and beans. I have always admired him and have been proud of him and his many accomplishments. A girl had to brag about her sweet uncle. Great sense of humor. And what a laugh

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laurie, I’m soooo glad you visited and shared some personal memories! I hope reading Ron’s Kids’ comments put as big a smile on your face as your heartfelt comment put on ours!!


  13. So glad to see this site. While I never worked at Bozell, way back when, Ron took me under his wing and helped me improve my woeful “book.” Throughout my career, I did my best to return the favor with other aspiring ad types. We had a lot of lunches at the Loon, and discussed everything from type faces to faith. I’ll always be grateful that an ad genius made time for me. Who says good guys finish last?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And we’re so glad you found it! God bless you, Bruce, for taking the time to visit, read, and comment ツ


  14. Donivan Perkins · · Reply

    I was lucky enough to work for and with amazing people, some of whom I pushed and some who pushed me. Ron Anderson certainly set a standard I can only hope to this day to live up to.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Terence Wynne · · Reply

    Ron was a gentleman as well as a great talent.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Bob Warren · · Reply

    Ron Anderson, as I’m sure he was for everyone he came in contract with, did far more than make me a better creative person than I came into the office being, every day. He totally influenced my career in terms of his drive, enthusiasm, overwhelming optimism and amazing people skills. Most importantly, he made me a better human being.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Ron was the mentor who had the greatest impact on my personal, professional, and spiritual life.


  18. Mike LaMonica · · Reply

    As a 27 year old writer I got into the One Show with him.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Kurt Tausche · · Reply

    Ron always gave us the keys and let us drive.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: