McCarthy Gets Carded

The McCarthy Group (TMG) here said it has inked direct response television duties worth $12 million annually for an affinity credit card issuer in Irving, Texas.
TMG, the new retail marketing arm of automotive advertising shop The McCarthy Cos., has already launched several 30-second ads touting co-branded credit cards on network and cable TV, said agency chairman Tim McCarthy. Among the media carrying MMG Direct’s ads are CBS, ESPN and Black Entertainment Television.
MMG Direct is issuing unsecured, sub-prime MasterCard credit cards co-branded by Fidelity Federal Bank of Los Angeles and Revelation Corp. of America (Revcorp) in Memphis, Tenn., according to McCarthy.
Officials with MMG Direct had not returned calls at press time.
It was not clear if the client had a previous agency relationship.
The MMG business helped push billings above $20 million at the agency and allowed the principal to splinter his services into two units under The McCarthy Cos.’ umbrella.
The core car dealer advertising group, now called Strike, will still pursue auto accounts, said McCarthy. Current Strike clients include Trophy Nissan in Mesquite, Texas, and Grand Prairie (Texas) Ford.
According to McCarthy, MMG’s primary affinity partner is Revcorp, a nonprofit organization owned by five of the largest African-American church denominations in the U.S.
MMG is handling its direct mail duties internally. The company was formerly called Marketing Corp. of America (unaffiliated with the Interpublic-owned company in Westport, Conn., of the same name).