The most prominent member of this new crew is managing director Jiah Choi, who joins the MDC Partners shop after spending just over two years as director of integrated marketing content at Coca-Cola.
“The office was opened for long term strategic reasons enabling us to access the depth and breadth of amazing talent that LA offers,” said global CEO Carl Johnson in a statement. “Rather than open a new office to service the needs of any particular client- we opened with a vision, an ambition and one awesome guy we know and love – Aisea Laungaue – now a Partner & CSO of Anomaly L.A.”
This quote aside, the L.A. office opened before Anomaly beat out other unnamed agencies to win the global Beats by Dre creative review in April/May, and Beats will be the largest client served by the West Coast team at this time. An AdAge report following our initial post noted that the office would also be working on other, unnamed accounts–and as the press release subhead put it, “Surge in New Business Translates into Significant Growth for Newest Office.”
In that sense Anomaly L.A. is similar to R/GA’s Hustle, which still works on some aspects of the Beats business as well. In fact, one of the new hires (account director Lexi VonderLieth) comes from R/GA. The new hires also include recently departed CP+B group account director Laura Likos and Kristy Fulwider, a former W+K and CP+B planner who previously worked on both internal and external communications for Nike.
On the creative side, Anomaly brought on senior copywriter Kathleen Swanson and senior art director Pierce Thiot of TBWA\Chiat\Day L.A. and copywriter Whitney Ruef and art director Jenny Kang of 180LA. The first pair are creative directors while Ruef and Kang are senior creatives.
The release also mentions account director Jess Delillo, who joins Anomaly for the second time after working in its New York office; group business director Josh Jefferis, formerly with 72andSunny; and “roving strategist” Shawn Bohigian, who has spent time at Media Arts Lab and 180’s Amsterdam and Los Angeles offices.
Laungaue said, “We are exceptionally proud of the caliber of talent we’ve brought under one roof and excited to see not only how we grow, but how they grow, as their talents are utilized to their full potential,” adding, “Jiah and I are now carefully finalizing the remaining hires with a special focus on finding the right Partner and ECD. But neither we, nor Founding Partner and Global CCO, Mike Byrne will be rushed as we seek out such a rare talent.”
Beyond the office on Venice’s Abbot Kinney Boulevard, the agency also plans to rent an additional 5,000 square feet of office space across the street to accommodate its newly expanded team.