NYC agency Wondersauce is expanding to the West Coast with a Los Angeles office that’s set to open its doors next month.
Wondersauce, which also has an office in Columbus, Ohio, was acquired by independent network Project last year. The five-year-old shop, which describes itself as a digitally led integrated advertising agency, counts Chick-Fil-A, Google and Outback Steakhouse’s parent company Bloomin’ Brands as clients.
The LA office will be led by Chris Spearpoint, who has spent the last three years at Wondersauce New York directing accounts including Bulova, The Players’ Tribune and Hodinkee. He will now assume the role of director of West Coast operations.
John Sampogna, who co-founded Wondersauce after serving as engagement director of Ten (formerly AgencyNet), told The Drum that the agency will open up shop in LA with a handful of staffers. While a few will be Wondersauce New York transplants, he said the rest will be chosen from LA’s talent pool.
“Much has been reported over the last few years about the migration of creative talent going out west,” he said, adding that as the agency grows, it plans to supplement its LA talent with Wondersauce New York employees who have expressed interest in moving out west.
Sampogna said that while Wondersauce has been in talks with some brands and startups in LA, the agency isn’t opening the office to service any particular existing client and doesn’t have any launch brands on board.
“When we launched New York in 2011, we didn’t have any clients. We just had a list. When we launched Columbus, it was the same thing and the same goes for LA,” he said. “We never really make geographic expansion decisions based on one client. I think that a lot of agencies fall into a pattern where that becomes the norm and they become too reliant on that one client versus looking broader. While we’re currently in conversations with a few brands right now and a few startups around projects that we’ll start early this year, it’s not about that. It’s more about a long-term investment in Los Angeles and what that market means to our people.”
Now that Wondersauce has footholds on both coasts and in a Midwestern market, Sampogna said that the agency’s next step will be overseas expansion.
“We think that LA will, for the foreseeable future, really allow us to flex in three markets really strongly domestically, so then the focus would absolutely be an international presence from there,” he said.