Interactive agency Media Circus will be merged into New York-based Illusion. Illusion will be the parent company over subsidiaries digital audio studio Sound Lounge, visual effects company Click 3X and video production company Full Blue.
"Instead of just being sister companies, IF will look to integrate work," said Peter Corbett, CEO. "With broadband coming, it's important to know how to work with high-bandwidth Internet, interactive TV, etc.," he said, noting that Illusion's experience as a forerunner digital production company positions it well in this space.
Illusion received a "substantial investment" from Tudor Investors, a Boston venture capital firm that has also sunk money into companies with Internet interests such as Wired and Internet consultancy Icon CMT Corp.
The reorganized agency has also made several key hires, including new-media veteran Susan Lynton as exec VP-general manager.
Others include Rob Kaminoff, VP-business development, formerly marketing director of AT&T Corp.'s Networked Commerce Services; Ron Dayan, VP-strategic services, formerly director of business development and Internet operations at Hertz Technology Group; and Dennis Witpen, director of media services, a former account exec at Lycos.
"We've restructured the company in a way that would not only future-proof our clients, but could really take us forward," Ms. Lynton said.
"We've hired people [who are] strong in the interactive space that not only know the Web, but also the architecture of interactivity," she said.
Mr. Corbett said even though the bulk of the companies' current day-to-day work may be in traditional online and offline media, Illusion can begin preparing for the coming days when high-bandwidth will allow video, audio and other broadband technologies to be played on the Internet.
Illusion is already beta testing some high-speed applications combining its various companies and digital capabilities, although executives declined to say with which clients.
Some of Media Circus' clients include Coca-Cola Co.'s Cherry Coke brand, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and Deere & Co.