Payless Shoes and former creatives could reunite here


Mark Modesto

There’s more than one way to expand an agency’s client roster.  Some use an impressive array of work from a range of clients to help attract new business. Others use relationships to good effect. The latter may be just what Mark Modesto, late of DraftFCB/Chicago and Marc USA/Chicago, is looking to do.

Sources say Modesto, now Chicago-based North American CEO of the Ryan Partnership, could be about to add a new client by tapping into a long-standing relationship with another former DraftFCB executive, Dan “Ziggy” Zigulich, who is now the global creative marketing honcho for Payless Shoes.

Rather abruptly, Payless last week announced it was severing its relationship with the Martin/Williams agency in Minneapolis.  The shoe company said it would explore relationships with other shops.

Dan “Ziggy” ZigulichSavvy sources started putting one and one together, and began to suspect that Zigulich could have his eye on a relationship with the Ryan Partnership in Chicago, now headed up by Modesto and creative honcho John Immesoete, a former top creative at DDB/Chicago.

Both Modesto and Immesoete abruptly exited Marc USA/Chicago several months ago for the Ryan Partnership.

Zigulich and Modesto worked together for a number of years at DraftFCB, where Zigulich during several tenures there held several positions including executive vice-president and management director.  Zigulich again exited DraftFCB last year and joined the Payless company in December of 2011.

Modesto was abruptly ousted from DraftFCB in 2010, after a tenure spanning more than 30 years.  He was famously associated with the huge S.C. Johnson account at DraftFCB.  S.C. Johnson severed all ties with DraftFCB just months after Modesto’s ouster.  Modesto’s last role at DraftFCB was head of North American operations.

Whether the Ryan Partnership gets all or a portion — or any — of the account remains to be seen. But no doubt one of Modesto’s goals for the Ryan Partnership is to keep the agency’s name out there and to help build a client roster that now includes companies ranging from Dole to Dell to AT&T U-vers.

Contact Lewis Lazare at