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About Lessing-Flynn

Decades of Advertising Agency Experience

Lessing-Flynn was founded in 1907, some eight decades before Al Gore got around to inventing the Internet. At the time, America was struggling through a period of economic turmoil that would be forever remembered as The Panic of 1907. In other words, the perfect time for a young man by the name of Lessing to open up a marketing and advertising agency in Des Moines, Iowa, population 70,000 or so.

Indeed, Paul Lessing was either a brilliant visionary who recognized an extraordinary opportunity … or he was completely crazy for thinking it wise to open the Lessing Advertising Company amidst all that panic and turmoil. None of us can say for certain, for none of us ever met Paul Lessing. But rumor has it he was a natural born storyteller with a blue-collar work ethic and a tight-fisted approach to business.

Four Generations of Marketing Wizards Later

Today, four generations and over 100 years later, the world of marketing and advertising is much different than it must have been amidst all the mayhem of 1907. But Lessing-Flynn, in the spirit of its brilliant and/or crazy founder, continues to use powerful storytelling and savvy marketing strategies to help brands and entrepreneurs in agriculture, construction, financial, insurance, health services, tech and other industries grow their business.

How does an ad agency hang around for more than 100 years? By embracing change. Lessing-Flynn was among the first ad agencies in Iowa to advertise on radio and television. Among the first to use computers and desktop publishing for graphic design. The first to use electronic mail (that’s what it was called back then). And one of the first to market products and services using social media channels like Twitter and Facebook—back when Facebook was still cool! For a century-old company, we still think of ourselves as quite the trendsetters.

We Don’t Sell Fancy Light Beers or $200 Shoes

Sure, it would be cool to work with some of those hotshot brands with bottomless budgets that sell fancy light beers and $200 pairs of shoes. But we’re lucky enough to work with some of the most entrepreneurial companies in the world. Our client list is filled with influential brands that deliver products and services that change industries. Many of their stories started with one person tinkering in a garage or shed, hoping to change the world. People with the courage to take smart risks—even at seemingly inopportune times. People like old Paul Lessing.

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