Hill, Holliday Tries Again to Fix N.Y. Office

NEW YORK — Long frustrated in its efforts to make an impact in New York, Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos has again installed new management at the outpost.

Brian Carty, who had been evp, corporate development in the San Francisco office, has been named president, the third in six years. He replaces David Wecal, who will continue as creative director.

“Carty has a great understanding of the culture of the agency, knows what we are and what we’re not, and knows who we should pursue and who we shouldn’t,” said Mike Sheehan, president of the Interpublic Group shop’s U.S. operations.

Carty said he will focus on generating new business as well as integrating the agency’s healthcare business with its core advertising services and the newly acquired Frankfurt Balkind.

Historically, the New York office has struggled in the shadow of the Boston headquarters, unable to establish a strong identity. Both the 1996 purchase of Omnicom shop Altschiller and the July acquisition of independent Frankfurt Balkind were intended to bring critical mass, established talent and local credibility. Altschiller’s integration yielded mixed results; it’s too early yet to tell what Frankfurt Balkind’s impact will be.

In 2001, New York revenue and billings each declined about 7 percent, to $13 million and $87 million. Though 2002 numbers are not available, the outpost has continued to languish. Priceline-its flagship client, with high-profile campaigns featuring Star Trek’s William Shatner-moved in-house in May. And the office has been largely invisible on the new-business front.

Wecal, 44, said of Carty, “He’s an account person, and I’m a creative person. That’s a good balance.”