Gainesville-based advertising agency Morton Vardeman & Carlson celebrated Thursday its 50th anniversary with clients and friends at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center on Green Street.
The agency specializes in building brands and executing marketing strategies for regional, national, and international clients through advertising, website design, public relations, social media, and more.
“From the beginning, we have been passionate about guiding companies to success through insightful communications and strategic branding,” John Vardeman, the company’s president, said. “We’re typically in the background promoting our clients, but our 50th anniversary presented the rare opportunity to shine the light on ourselves for a change.”
Morton Vardeman & Carlson dates back to 1973 when A.L. “Tot” Morton founded Morton & Associates in his basement. Prior to opening the agency, Morton had worked as the advertising sales director at the Poultry Times, a Gainesville-based poultry trade publication.
Vardeman bought into the agency as a partner in 1994, after returning to his hometown of Gainesville from working as a Bureau Chief and National News Editor at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The partnership launched Morton Vardeman & Associates as a full-service firm.
Tina Carlson was named the Executive Vice President of the agency five years after Vardeman joined the company. Carlson had previously served as the agency’s Creative Director. A press release from the company credited Carlson as the driving force behind the creative direction, graphic design, and content writing for its clients.
In Morton Vardeman & Carlson’s history, the agency has retained some of its clients for decades, most notably, American Coolair, a fan manufacturer based in Jacksonville, Florida, that has advertised with the company for over 45 years.
“A point of pride for us is our long-term association with clients,” Carlson said. “It’s the best metric in validating our success in building successful brands for our clients.”