he founding partner of Putnam Partners, Mark has been a national political media consultant and campaign strategist for over two decades, helping elect eight governors, seven U.S. senators, dozens of members of the U.S. House of Representatives and an American president.
Mark has created some of the most talked-about political advertising campaigns of the last decade. His highest profile project was creating Barack Obama’s 2008 thirty minute television special “American Stories, American Solutions” that aired simultaneously on seven networks and was viewed by over 35 million people (more than 2008’s American Idol finale). Washington Post television critic Tom Shales called it "Somehow both poetic and practical, spiritual and sensible ... a montage of montages, a series of seamlessly blended segments.”
In his book The Audacity to Win, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe called Mark “one of the best producers in our party.” In all, Putnam has created national television advertising for three presidential campaigns, served as chief speechwriter for a fourth presidential campaign, and has been a lead consultant on campaigns in 47 states.
Past and present clients include (partial listing):
U.S. Senators Mark Begich (AK), Bob Casey (PA) and Tom Udall (NM). Governors Phil Bredesen (TN), Brad Henry (OK), Bob Holden (MO), Ruth Ann Minner (DE), Bill Richardson (NM), Brian Schweitzer (MT) and John Hickenlooper (CO). Attorney General-elect Kamala Harris (CA), Attorney General Roy Cooper (NC), Representatives Barney Frank (MA), Mark Critz (PA), Bill Owens (NY) and David Wu (OR). Mayor Francis Slay (St. Louis) and Mayor Karl Dean (Nashville). Putnam also created DSCC advertising that helped elect U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (MD), Jon Tester (MT), and Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), as well as South Carolina Democratic Party advertising to help Senator Fritz Hollings win re-election in 1998.
Mark had eight ads named among the “Best Ads” of 2008 and 2010 by Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post, and has also won 39 Pollie Awards for excellence in political advertising. CBS News called his “Shower” ad for Colorado Governor-elect John Hickenlooper the best ad of 2010, and Mark shared in the Obama for America campaign’s unprecedented two Grand Prix Awards at the 2009 Cannes Lion International Advertising Festival.
Mark’s international work includes serving as a lead strategist and producing advertising for the Czechoslovakian political movement "Public Against Violence,” voter education media for Russian parliamentary elections and, most recently, helping Prime Minister Michael Eman and the AVP win control of the Aruban parliament in 2009.
Other clients include the American Federation of Teachers, San Diego Community Colleges, Walmart Watch, Marsh McLennan Insurance Companies, Seabury & Smith Insurance, Imagination Software, and the National Democratic Institute.
Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, Mark graduated from Brown University with a degree in Molecular Biology. In 1986, he worked with Squier-Eskew-Knapp Communications, and then served as Deputy Southern Coordinator on the 1987 Biden for President campaign. From 1988-1996, Mark was the Creative Director and a lead strategist with the Washington, DC firm of Fenn-King-Murphy-Putnam Communications. In 1997, Mark co-founded Murphy Putnam Media, where he was a lead strategist through the 2010 elections.
Mark lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife Grace and is immensely proud of their three children – John, Christopher, and Abigail.