Upshot agency sold for the third time in 18 years


Upshot, the 22-year old “seamless agency” with 170 staffers, has been acquired by promotions, experiential and multicultural Advantage Solutions of Irvine, Calif.

It will continue operating under its Upshot name as a unit within the Advantage Marketing Partners division.

Upshot president and CEO Brian Kristofek, who has worked at the River North agency since 1996, remains at its helm.

“Upshot’s laser focus on delivering highly creative, integrated consumer marketing on behalf of clients is a wonderful addition to our ever-expanding marketing capabilities,” Jill Griffin, president of Advantage Marketing Partners, said in a statement

Upshot’s clients include P&G, KraftHeinz, New Balance, Starbucks, Google, Nature Made and Nuveen Investments.

This acquisition marks the third time in 18 years that the brand engagement agency has been bought by a much larger marketing company.

Co-founders John R. Kelley, Jr., and Carol Griseto sold the agency in 1998 to Halo Industries of Deerfield, becoming its largest marketing subsidiary. Both Kelley and Griseto announced at the time they were leaving the agency to pursue other opportunities. Kelly left Upshot for a brief stint as Halo’s CEO but returned to the agency in 2001, the year Halo declared bankruptcy.

During its 2002 bankruptcy proceeding, Halo sold Upshot to Equity Marketing, LLC, a leading LA-based, international marketing services agency.