Fusion Sets Up California Office

Fusion Idea Lab has opened an office near Los Angeles in an effort to attract West Coast clients.

The Santa Monica, Calif., office of the Chicago-based boutique is equipped for a staff of five, which Fusion is now seeking to hire, an agency executive said.

“We’re going after several new accounts and it’s more attractive for many L.A. clients to have a shop close to them,” said Michael Oberman, the agency’s president and partner.

The decision to expand to the West Coast is not just for new business but to service existing clients. The agencies work in California includes assignments for Warner Bros. Studios and Fox Entertainment.

“I end up spending more than half my time in L.A. because that is where we do much of our studio work, too,” Oberman said.

Oberman’s partner at Fusion is Dave Merhar, who directs through HSI Productions in Culver City, Calif. The pair left DDB three years ago to found Fusion.

The space in Santa Monica is now used by two staff members as well as Chicago employees who are in Los Angeles on business.

“Our thinking was [to] get the space then go after the client base,” Oberman said.

Fusion’s clients include Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis and Target in Minneapolis. “The [Chicago Transit Authority] is really our only Chicago-based client,” Oberman said.

Oberman discovered the office space while at Lookinglass (now the Whitehouse Post Production Co.) an editing house the agency often utilizes that is located in the same building.