Fallon McElligott copywriter Luke Sullivan is joining WestWayne here as its chief creative officer.
Sullivan resigned last week from Fallon after nearly 10 years at the Minneapolis agency to make the move to Atlanta. He replaces Martin Macdonald, who left WestWayne in March over creative differences.
Sullivan, who starts work July 1, comes to a shop that has had two consecutive flat years financially. On his shoulders is the task of raising the quality of the $273 million agency's creative product, and in doing so, helping propel WestWayne to national agency status on par with The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., and Fallon itself.
"This is a key hire for [WestWayne]," said Sullivan, 43. "Do I feel pressure? There's always pressure. I don't feel pressure as much as I'm energized about this."
"We never set out to take any halfway measures," said agency president Ben West. "My commitment has been to have a place where people are challenged to work at the highest level, where they're excited about coming to work every day.
"It's all about looking at the work we do for our clients and making sure big ideas are expressed in a clear brand voice," West said.
Conceding he has had several offers to leave Fallon through the years, Sullivan said WestWayne presents a unique challenge.
"I've been writing ads for 20 years," he said. "I talked to a [creative director] friend, and he told me it's a lot of fun to actually get to steer a brand instead of just doing the next campaign. I want to be able to help a client find its voice and push them in the right direction. I'm getting a chance to change careers while staying in the business."
Sullivan, most recently the senior copywriter on Fallon's United Airlines account, is the author of Hey Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide to Creating Great Ads, recently published by Wiley Trade.
WestWayne counts BellSouth, Beautyrest Mattresses, NAPA and Publix Super Markets among its clients. --with Aaron Baar