Farella Returns To Launch N.Y. Startup

Steve Farella, the former CEO of Havas’ Media Planning Group, has launched a new agency called TargetCast-TCM with the goal of attracting advertisers whose budgets range from $10-50 million.

“If you took a look at the lineup of the top media agencies, there are basically 12 shops, and you would be hard pressed to name more than a handful of clients at those agencies that have budgets under $100 million,” Farella said. “Most of those clients are neglected by the large agencies, because it’s not worth it to them.”

The New York startup offers marketing, as well as media planning, buying and auditing services. It opens with Onvance, an Atlanta-based convenience-store chain that operates an ad-supported, in-store TV network in all of its units. TargetCast will provide marketing services such as research.

“I liked Steve’s marketing vision, and I was impressed with his background as a media planner and buyer,” said Gerard Coelsch, vp of marketing for Onvance. “I wanted someone who could speak to any major advertiser and get them to say, ‘These guys get it. They know what we’re after.’ “

Also on the roster are two media clients: financial-services advertiser Argent Trading Co. and Turf, a small New York ad agency. Billings were not disclosed.

TargetCast has five employees, and Farella said he hopes to add an other five by year’s end. He recently hired Chuck Lamphear, the Pittsburgh-based former media director of Heinz, to scout out business prospects in the mid-Atlantic region.

Farella was forced out as MPG’s U.S. CEO in November, following a lackluster new-business performance in 2001 [Adweek, Nov. 12]. He was replaced by the media chief at sister shop Arnold, John Gaffney [see related story on this page].