3 Launch New Shop

Three ad veterans—a recruiter, a creative and a CEO—have started Catalyst, an agency that will mainly use freelancers and work only on a project basis.

Dale Cunningham, 58, former head of executive search firm Dale Cunningham Agency in New York, James Fee ney, 63, who had been principal of consultancy Feeney Group in Ches ter, Conn., and Jim Parry, 58, a freelancer and founder of ad agency James Parry Inc. in New York, opened the agency this month.

The shop intends to work with each client for only two to three months. Besides the three principals, the New York-based shop will permanently employ a small support staff and use a roster of 265 freelancers—from account planners to art directors.

“What appealed to me was this model, which really had nothing to do with normal agency structure,” said Feeney. “This group didn’t want to be agency of record.”

All three principals bear the title of founding partner. They will be involved in every aspect of the agency, but each will concentrate on areas in which he has the most experience.

Cunningham will “ac cess talent and monitor availability of talent,” said Feeney. Fee ney, who was president and CEO of Trone Advertising in Greensboro, N.C., from 1996-2000 and helped launch MCI at Ally & Gargano in New York in the ’70s, will focus on strategy and creative. Parry, who co-founded Posey, Parry and Quest in the ’80s, will also focus on creative.

The shop plans to be affiliated with three as-yet-undisclosed media agencies.