The agency, which will operate out of Santa Monica, Calif., under the direction of Steve Rabosky, expects to be in New York by the end of the year. Leap is said to be in talks with an undisclosed, midsize New York agency.
"We are driven by a talent strategy," said R. Steven Lutterbach, chairman-CEO of parent Leap Group, adding the shop plans eventually to expand internationally.
"The plan is to do it the right way instead of the desperate way," said Mr. Rabosky, whose creative credits include the Energizer Bunny.
Mr. Rabosky, who had been working on TBWA Chiat/Day's new-business efforts, will co-manage the California office with Carisa Bianchi, former TBWA Chiat/Day account director on Sony PlayStation, Coca-Cola Co. and Eveready Battery Co.'s Energizer.
Also joining the agency are Chris Graves as senior art director; Erik Moe, copywriter; Steve Erich, account supervisor; and as account planners, Steve Le Neveu and Lorraine Ketch, who had been managing partners in TBWA Chiat/
Day's New York office.
Contributing: Bradley Johnson, Mark Gleason.