The Sound of Music Marketing

Mike Sullivan has resigned as executive vice president of The Focus Agency to join The Loomis Agency as president and equity partner.

The hiring, agency executives said, marks Loom-is’ aggressive entry into the “infotainment” arena, which will include the making and marketing of pop bands.

The move is not a stretch for agency founder Paul Loomis, a composer who is known as the producer and songwriter of Vanilla Ice’s first album.

In addition to the Dallas-based agency, Loomis’ holding company also owns music and film entity Loomis Productions and Luminous Sound Studios, a multi-million dollar recording complex used to produce commercial work as well as entertainment recordings by Whitney Houston, Dionne Warwick and other performers.

The Loomis Agency is now planning to closely utilize the resources of its sister companies as well as that of Maximum Records, a new label in which the shop holds an equity stake.

“There is an extremely unique set of resources here that we put together,” said Mike Sullivan. “Luminous Sound [is a] state-of-the-art recording facility. We’re going to match that up with our marketing skills to do things that haven’t been done in the advertising industry up to this point.”

More specifically, said Sullivan, “We’ll be able to develop pop groups that are linked to brands … We’llbe able to create all the merchandising and point-of-sale that goes along with that sort of thing.”

Loomis will unveil the workings of its new concept with a concert this week by The Sons of Harmony, a four-piece vocal group discovered in a Dallas talent show. The agency has struck a branding association deal with EDS that will bring company chairman Richard Brown onstage during the concert.

The Loomis Agency has seen double-digit growth in billings—to $28 million—since merging its operations with Sullivan Herndon, another Dallas agency, last year. Mark Sullivan (no relation to Mike Sullivan) is now a partner and executive creative director for The Loomis Agency.

The shop is also expanding its customer relationship management, database and interactive skills. Current clients include Universal Studios, the Smirnoff and Cuervo brands of United Distillers and Vintners, the David McDavid Auto Group and Eurway Furniture.