Steven L. Laughlin

A graduate of Drake University, Steve is that rare kind of creative person who doesn’t have a degree in philosophy, psychology or medieval history. Instead he is a rare creative hybrid—an extraordinarily gifted writer who knows something about business. Maybe that’s why few people have left a bigger imprint on Wisconsin’s advertising community than Steve Laughlin.

In the ’80s and ’90s, his agency Frankenberry, Laughlin & Constable set the standard for creativity in Wisconsin, almost singlehandedly putting the state on the national advertising map. Under Steve’s guidance, FL&C became one of the hottest creative shops in the Midwest. And their work for clients like Alka-Seltzer Plus, Miller Brewing, Sargento Cheese, Oshkosh B’Gosh, Wisconsin Tourism and Bush/Quayle ‘88 was consistently honored at the country’s most prestigious shows — from the New York Art Director’s Annual and One Show, to Communication Arts and the OBIE’s. While the agency’s complete dominance of the local ADDY awards show for over 15 years strongly resembled the New York Yankees’ reign in baseball.

Steve’s biggest influence, however, may have been on the growth of the larger Milwaukee ad community. His creative competitiveness, and ability to attract and mentor top talent, inspired the success of dozens of spin-off ad agencies in the ’90s. With FL&C alumni at the helm of most of them.

A member of the American Association of Advertising Agency’s board of governors, Steve was recently awarded one of the American Advertising Federation’s most distinguished honors—the Silver Medal for Career Achievement.

The Wisconsin Advertising Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is held every year at the United Adworkers Milwaukee 99 Awards Show. For details and to purchase tickets to the show on October 12, 2017, please visit