Simons Michelson Zieve, Inc. (SMZ) celebrates 90 years of “quietly making noise” in the Detroit advertising business

For three generations, the agency has been bringing its clients into the spotlight while being a good community partner; Celebration events include a benefit for The Children’s Center.

Troy, MI, February 5, 2019 – Simons Michelson Zieve, Inc. (SMZ), a third generation, Troy, Michigan-based full-service advertising agency, which has served the metro Detroit area since it began on the brink of the Great Depression on Jan.12, 1929, is celebrating its 90th anniversary. A range of activities throughout the year will mark this milestone and include: a community endeavor to benefit The Children’s Center of Detroit, engaging internal initiatives, agency chronicles on social media, creation of a company time capsule and a summertime party.


What started with an idea from two young Detroiters who had just graduated high school to use multi-sized newspaper ads with pictures of the products they were selling (mostly jewelry at the time) has grown through three generations, meeting technological changes and communication trends along the way, into a family business of well-reputed leaders in the Detroit area advertising landscape who continue to bring creativity and innovation to clients.

“Throughout the years we have moved with the industry as it has changed and grown while remaining steadfast in our beliefs and dedication to our clients and each other,” says Jim Michelson, firm chairman and son of co-founder Lawrence Michelson. “The longevity of SMZ is a testament to the ethics, inventiveness and hard work behind it, and I’m very pleased my children will carry on the family tradition.”

Today, in addition to the newspaper-only ads that once helped them sell jewelry as advertising pioneers, SMZ’s services include Strategic Planning, Brand Positioning, Online/Offline Creative, Broadcast & Print Production, Graphic Design, Media Research/Planning/Buying/Analytics, Web Development, SEO/SEM, Collateral Materials, Direct Marketing and Content Development to a wide range of industries, such as sports and entertainment, travel and tourism, and health and wellness. Clients on its roster include the Michigan Lottery, Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Tigers, Broadway In Detroit, Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, Beaumont Health, KidKraft, Grand Hotel, Comerica Bank and more.

Milestone Markers

With a history of helping community organizations advance their initiatives, SMZ will join The Children’s Center, also turning 90 this year, to host a charity event. The Children’s Center works to improve the lives of children and families. More information will be announced later. Please visit for updates.

SMZ will also shine a little light on itself for a change through agency chronicles on its social media channels and by creating a time capsule. Any past employees who have company stories to share or something to add to the time capsule are highly encouraged to contact SMZ at The time capsule will include items covering the agency’s past as far back as possible through today and will be opened on the 100th anniversary.

In June, SMZ will host an anniversary party to celebrate with past and present employees and their families, clients, vendor partners and colleagues.

History and Key Players

Simons-Michelson Company was created by Lawrence Michelson and Leonard Simons, who met while in high school. Their hard work, passion and love of the industry and people, along with smart promotion and each handling aspects of the business that suited them the best, paid off as their company grew and opportunities were available for their son and son-in law, respectively, to join the agency.

In 1961, Simons’ son-in-law, Mort Zieve, who had been a successful producer and director in local Detroit television, joined the agency as did Jim Michelson, a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, in 1963.

In 1977, Jim Michelson and Mort Zieve bought the agency, renamed it Simons-Michelson-Zieve, Inc. and moved its headquarters to Troy. There the agency continued to take shape based on the lesson Jim Michelson’s father taught him, which is to build long-lasting relationships with clients rather than being out to get more.

Continuing the trend of including family in the business, Jim’s wife Bonnie became a vital part of the agency as its market research director, and today three of their four children are with the company.

In 2005, Zieve passed away. Jim serves as the company chairman. Jamie Michelson is president and CEO, Pam Michelson (Renusch) and Debbie Michelson (Fuger) are executive vice presidents. The company continues to thrive with the family dynamic in which each utilizes their own talents in the best way to benefit the company and has found their unique spot.

In 2014, SMZ infused new positive energy into its already creative culture of nearly 50 people with a move to a new easily accessible location in Troy offering a more sleek, modern office space.

“We consider ourselves under-the-radar overachievers who work relentlessly and aggressively to get our clients in the spotlight while also being respectful and just plain nice,” says Jamie Michelson, president and CEO of SMZ. “As my sisters and I look into our future carrying the legacy of this agency, we’re very proud of our past and excited for the positive impact we will continue to achieve for our clients.”

SMZ is located at 1200 Kirts Boulevard, Suite 100, Troy, MI 48084. The main phone number is 248-362-4242.

For more information about SMZ, please visit the agency’s web site at, Facebook page at, Twitter at, Instagram at SMZ_Advertising and on Linked In SMZ-Advertising.



We’re SMZ, the overachievers who happily work under the radar, creating noise with a purpose. You love our clients, and that’s good enough for us. We’ll leave the spotlight to them. We’re perfect for brands that want to work directly with senior management in an environment that’s nimble and humble. Aggressive and nice. Respectful and relentless. You don’t need a big agency to make a big impact. Just a select group of people who’ve got their priorities straight. More at