ATLANTA - Copywriter Luke Sullivan has left Fallon McElligott to join WestWayne as chief creative officer.
He resigned last week after nearly a decade at the Minneapolis shop.
Sullivan, 43, said the opportunity to mold an entire agency's creative output was too good to pass up. "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." Sullivan replaces Martin Macdonald, who left WestWayne here in March over creative differences with agency president Ben West.
Sullivan comes to a shop that has been flat financially for two consecutive years and has a much lower national profile than Fallon. Nor is WestWayne's client roster an even swap with Fallon's in terms of name recognition. The agency's offices here and in Tampa, Fla., have BellSouth, Beautyrest Mattresses, NAPA, Publix Super Markets and SunTrust Banks, among others, as clients. It claims billings of $273 million.
"This is a key hire for [WestWayne]," Sullivan said. "Do I feel pressure? There's always pressure, [but] I don't feel pressure as much as I'm energized about this."
"We never set out to take any halfway measures," said 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."
Sullivan, who was most recently senior copywriter on United Airlines, has 20 One Show medals to his credit, among other awards.
Perhaps one of his best-known tagline is, "Imagine having your body left to science while you're still in it," written for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Mark Goldstein, Fallon's president of integrated marketing, said, "That's great. He'd been here a long time. I'm glad for him." --with Aaron Baar