Ferrara & Company Names Former Publicis New York CEO as President, Chief Client Officer

By Erik Oster 

Ferrara & Company hired former Publicis New York chief and 35-year industry veteran Joe McCarthy as its new president and chief client officer.

“We’re thrilled to have Joe join the team and share his vision and expertise to helping our clients continue to grow their business,” said Ferrara & Company president and CEO Art Ferrara in a statement. “His industry knowledge, leadership and drive for success will create an even stronger operation.”

The Princeton, New Jersey agency specializes in serving retail “challenger brands,” and its roster includes such clients as Arm & Hammer, Allegra, Heinz and the New Jersey Lottery. Atlanta-based PureRED Integrated Marketing acquired Ferrara for an undisclosed sum last summer, and the shop currently employs between 50 and 200 according to its LinkedIn page.


“I firmly understand and believe in the power of creativity to drive clients’ business. It’s what I believe in my heart,” said McCarthy in the press release. The same release credits him with helping to facilitate double-digit growth at Publicis during the height of the Great Recession by signing new clients such as Hilton Worldwide, Merck, TGI Friday’s, AXA and Lens Crafters.

PureRED CEO Michael Minasi said, “Joe’s varied background and his impressive list of creative credentials will be an asset to PureRED as we continue our growth trajectory,” citing McCarthy’s “breadth of experience, ranging from top leadership at one the industry’s biggest agencies to client leadership at some of the world’s most powerful brands.”

McCarthy joins Ferrara & Company from New York design firm Collins, where he served as president beginning in 2013. Before that, he spent four years (2008-2012) as CEO of Publicis New York.

After beginning his agency career with a 13-year stint at Saatchi & Saatchi New York, he left the agency to go client-side as vice president of worldwide advertising at Nike 1993. He then spent three years there before leaving to found his own brand strategy and creative consultancy, The McCarthy Company, whose clients included Boston Beer Company (Sam Adams), j.crew and Leo Burnett.

After subsequently co-founding McCarthy Mambro Bertino (MMB) in 2001, he joined Johnson & Johnson as vice president of global advertising in 2005 and held that position for three years before leaving to join Publicis.