Tony Ceresoli

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Advertising has been a passion of mine for 27 years. There’s no greater thrill for me than helping businesses grow. From selling media time in my early days to owning a successful ad agency today, I love everything about this business (well almost everything.)

I began my career at the ripe old age of 19 as a radio station account executive in Clearwater, Florida. Through an iron will and more tenacity than a pit bull, I worked my way up the ladder and found myself perched on top as the youngest FM radio station manager in Tampa Bay by the time I turned 23.

Even at such a young age, I realized the secret to success in advertising was my ability to keep the clients’ needs ahead of mine. A lesson that continues to serve me well today.

From there, the entrepreneur bug bit me, and along with my father (also a lifetime ad man) we purchased a small news talk radio station in Central Florida (WPS0 –AM 1500). Owning a sunrise to sunset, 250 watt station was no walk in the park, but the experience was invaluable. After three-years, it was time to move on…

Although cable was still in its infancy, I accepted a sales position with a local cable system in Tampa Bay. It was here where I fell in love with the power of TV advertising. Nothing then or since has been able to convince me that there is a more powerful medium for creating brand awareness and sales impact than television advertising.

11 years into my career, I once again decided to venture out on my own … this time to start a direct mail business. Although rewarding, direct mail wasn’t for me. What I really wanted was to get into the ad agency business.

I got my wish in 1993, when I was hired as a new business specialist for Devine Communications in St. Petersburg, Florida. I was able to quickly grow the agency into a local top-10 shop through the acquisition of a number of high profile retail clients. Within a short time, I was promoted to Vice President & General Manager.

Through my 11-year tenure at Devine, I adopted a “brandtailing” approach to retail advertising that consistently delivered proof positive results for our clients. Through the use of primarily TV advertising, I made sure that every campaign combined powerful brand messaging with strong retail offers. The formula worked well and “continues” to work well today.

In the fall of 2004, the time was right for me to open my own agency. Through and amicable split with Devine, I left with two-thirds of the clients and staff and Ad Partners, Inc. was born.

Today, the agency resides in Tampa, Florida and has become one of the top retail chain agencies in the Southeast.

For the last 5 years, I have worked with some of the biggest brands in the South, including: Amscot Financial (the fastest growing financial services company in Florida), Sonny’s Bar-B-Q (the largest barbecue chain in the U.S.), Orthodontic Specialists of Florida (the largest orthodontic practice in the country) and Cott Beverages (the world’s largest private label soft drink bottler).

And no matter how big we get, I still maintain a very hands-on approach with every client … never forgetting to keep the clients interests ahead of mine.

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