Fink Forms New Shop

Veteran creative Len Fink, who merged entertainment and advertising a decade ago as an architect of Creative Artists Agency’s campaigns for Coca-Cola, has opened a new shop, Amoeba. The agency’s first client also marries entertainment with advertising: Z.com, an entertainment Web site.

TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif., handles media planning and buying for the site. It is expected to spend at least $10 million when it debuts its first consumer campaign in early 2001.

Like its shape-changing namesake, Amoeba, Los Angeles, is designed to be fluid, noted Fink. “I want to keep [the shop] as simple as possible and adaptable because it will not function as an ad agency necessarily,” he said. “It will take whatever form it needs to be successful for clients.”

Amoeba will help create content for Z.com, seek sponsorships and create campaigns. The site, launched in May, features offerings that include comedy from David Spade and Ellen DeGeneres and programs such as Dare for Dollars, in which people take dares for money. Among its backers are Internet incubator Idealab! and production company Brillstein-Grey.

“We’re trying to create a new form of entertainment that takes advantage of the interactivity and community nature of the medium,” said Hilary Meserole, chief marketing officer at Z.com.

Meserole worked with Fink when both were at J. Walter Thompson in New York more than a decade ago. Amoeba was tapped by Z.com after a review of several undisclosed shops, she said, because “we don’t have to pay for a big agency’s overhead, and yet we have one of the best creatives. … Len is in many respects part of our core team.”