John Follis

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John Follis
Birth name John Gregory Follis
Born (1954-06-23) June 23, 1954 (age 63)
New Haven, CT

John Follis (born June 23, 1954) is an award winning advertising executive and marketing expert credited with originating the Web 2.0 term "G-Cred"[1] and the value of having it. His agency's work has been described as "simple and effective" (Adweek)[2] and “in your face” (Time).[3] He currently runs Big Idea Video, a division of Follis Inc.


Follis began his career working for advertising agencies such as FCB/Chicago and DDB Worldwide in New York City. In the mid-1980s, his entrepreneurial career began with freelance work for such major New York shops as Chiat/Day, Della Femina and Kirshenbaum & Bond. His work on the Kenneth Cole account resulted in awards and national press.[citation needed]

In 1988, Follis co-founded Follis&Verdi, with clients such as The American Stock Exchange, No Excuses Jeans, Solgar Vitamins[4] and Sorrell Ridge Fruit Spreads—a case taught at the Harvard Business School[5] and featured in Forbes.[6] In ‘93, Follis/DeVito/Verdi won 9 ADDY Awards making it the second most awarded agency in New York.[7] That same year Follis formed Follis Inc[8] to include a focus on non-traditional and online marketing. In 2003, in response to the shifting media landscape and to provide an alternative to the traditional ad agency model, Follis created "Follis Marketing Therapy".[9] And, in 2006, Follis created "The Follis Marketing Report" blog and "The Marketing Show with John Follis" podcast syndicated on iTunes.

Published works[edit]

Follis has been a featured columnist in ADWEEK[10][11][12][13][14] Ad Age[15][16] and the New York Enterprise Report.[17] His MAD AVE column has been featured on Talent Zoo for several years. His original essay, MAD AVE, appears in Mirror On America [18] a pop culture anthology including essays from Dick Clark, Stephen King, Dave Barry and MTV’s Kurt Loder. Follis’s campaign for the Marble Collegiate Church is featured in the college text, Principles of Marketing. [19] His early ad work on the Kenneth Cole account is featured in Cole’s "Footnotes" (Simon & Schuster, 2003). In 2006, Follis published How to Attract and Excite Your Prospects: A Guide for Getting the Best Marketing Results.[20] In his '07 ADWEEK article he coined the term "G-Cred" referring to online credibility.[1] And, in 2010, he published "G-cred. The New Measure of Credibility." He currently blogs for Small Business Trends and The Follis Marketing Report. [21] [22]

Awards and honors[edit]

Follis and his agencies have won multiple ad awards such as Clio Awards, ANDY’S,[23] Addy Awards,[7] One Show, New York Festival, Obie,[24] Athena, Creativity, and Golden Web Awards. He also received a special White House invitation[25] for his agency’s work for the National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse.

Teaching and speaking[edit]

Follis has been an adjunct professor of advertising and marketing at the Parsons School of Design, the School of Visual Arts, and the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. He is also a nationally requested speaker having spoken at such venues as The American Management Association, The World Business Academy, Social Media '07, and the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute.[26]

Non-profit work[edit]

Follis and his agencies have worked with such orgizations as Unicef, the League of Women Voters, the Olympic Games, Marble Collegiate Church,[27] Mothers Against Drunk Driving, SmokeFree, Scholastic’s Stay in School Program, and The National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse.[28] His work for the NCPCA resulted in being honored at The White House.


  1. ^ a b Follis, John (May 2007). "Do We Have G-Cred?". Adweek. 
  2. ^ "Marketing Solution". Adweek. February 6, 1989. 
  3. ^ "Marketing". Time. March 29, 1999. 
  4. ^ ELLIOTT, STUART (April 21, 1992). "ADVERTISING -- ADVERTISING -- ADDENDA; Accounts". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ Quelch, John (June 12, 1990). "Sorrell Ridge: Slotting Allowances". Harvard Business Publishing. 
  6. ^ McCormack, Kevin (February 6, 1989). "Sorrell Ridge puts Smuckers in a jam". ADWEEK. 
  7. ^ a b BRYANT, ADAM (March 17, 1993). "Awards Presented At 2 Ceremonies". The New York Times. p. 19. 
  8. ^ Janofsky, Michael (July 28, 1993). "ADVERTISING -- ADDENDA; A Partner Leaves Follis DeVito Verdi". The New York Times. 
  9. ^ "Marketing Therapy: Small business marketing solutions from marketing expert John Follis". Retrieved 2014-02-13. 
  10. ^ Follis, John (July 2000). "The Truth Hurts". ADWEEK. 
  11. ^ Follis, John (January 2001). "Selling God". ADWEEK. 
  12. ^ Follis, John (April 2001). "Survivor : Mad Ave.". ADWEEK. 
  13. ^ Follis, John (June 2005). "Running On Empty". ADWEEK. 
  14. ^ Follis, John (May 2006). "Podcasting Grows Up". ADWEEK. 
  15. ^ Follis, John (June 1997). "Do Awards Really Matter?". Ad Age. 
  16. ^ Follis, John (August 1998). "The Putterman Principle". Ad Age. 
  17. ^ Follis, John (January 2006). "H ow to Market A Business with No Marketing Budget". New York Enterprise Report. 
  18. ^ Mims, Joan T. (2000). Mirror On America. Bedford/St. Martin's. ISBN 0-312-39933-2. 
  19. ^ Kotler, Philip (2001). Principles of Marketing. Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-026312-5. 
  20. ^ Follis, John. How to Attract and Excite Your Prospects:. Follis Inc. ISBN 0-9768644-0-1. 
  21. ^ "John Follis, Author at Small Business Trends". Retrieved 2014-02-13. 
  22. ^ "The Follis Marketing Report". Retrieved 2014-02-13. 
  23. ^ ELLIOTT, STUART (May 5, 1992). "7 Andy Awards For Chiat/Day". The New York Times. 
  24. ^ ELIOT, STUART (May 7, 1992). "Prize Billboards That Stick Their Necks (or Spoons) Out". The New York Times. p. 20. 
  25. ^ "Follis Advertising: Cause Marketing". Retrieved 2014-02-13. 
  26. ^ "John Follis at The Yale Entrepreneurial Institute | The Marketing Show with John Follis". 2010-08-06. Retrieved 2014-02-13. 
  27. ^ Brozan, Nadine (October 4, 1998). "For the Good Book, A Good Sales Pitch". The New York Times. p. 43. 
  28. ^ RAMIREZ, Anthony (December 27, 1994). "ADVERTISING -- ADDENDA; Pro Bono Accounts". The New York Times. 

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