Anomaly Seeks Lupinacci’s Successor

NEW YORK Ernest Lupinacci, a partner and creative chief at Anomaly here, said he is leaving the shop to pursue work in branded content. As a result, the agency has begun a search for a new partner-level creative leader.

Lupinacci, 39, was among the five original partners who opened the independent shop in June 2004. Carl Johnson, Justin Barocas, Andrew Kibble and Jason DeLand are the other founders. In 2005, the agency added three additional partners: Johnny Vulkan, Sal LaGreca and Mark Kaplan.

Before joining Anomaly, Lupinacci was a freelance creative director for five years. He is best known for casting William Shatner as a lounge singer in Priceline.com ads from Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in Boston.

Johnson said the split is “100 percent amicable” and has to do with “fit, the lining up of ambition.” He explained that branded content is a “part of what we want to do, but not all of what we want to do.

“I am certain he is going to succeed on his own terms . . . He’s one of the smartest guys I know,” Johnson added.

Lupinacci’s new endeavor starts with assignments from Plum TV and Success Television, a video-on-demand network.

“As much as there’s a sort of media-era land-rush taking place, with brands scrambling for content and content providers desperate to be in business with brands, the two sides are not connecting as seamlessly and as successfully as they should,” said Lupinacci. The key, he added, is having both the assets and the vision.

Anomaly’s clients include Coca-Cola, The New York Times, Virgin America and ESPN Mobile Publishing. The shop offers advertising, but the majority of its business involves design, new product development and brand strategy.

The search for his successor has just begun, and the shop will consider candidates from both inside and outside the U.S., Johnson said. Besides “creative excellence” and a proven track record, Anomaly is looking for someone with a broad creative palette, he said.