MMB CEO McCarthy to Leave Agency

BOSTON Independent shop MMB, one of the region’s fastest growing ad agencies in recent years, today said Joe McCarthy, its chief executive and co-founder, will leave the agency, effectively immediately.

“I’m confident that the agency will continue the strong momentum we enjoyed in 2004,” McCarthy said. “But with our growth I was having to make difficult choices
between my family and the agency, and my family has to come first.”

“With a new baby girl and a growing 12 year old daughter, Joe realized that it was becoming harder and harder to split his time among clients, the agency and his family, not to mention the long commute” from his home in New Jersey, said MMB partner, president and co-cd Fred Bertino, in a statement.

McCarthy’s responsibilities will be assumed by Bertino, co-cd and partner Jamie Mambro and Chad Caufield, the shop’s director of agency operations. The CEO title will not be used.

McCarthy, Mambro and Bertino lanched the Boston-based agency in April 2001. MMB’s name will not immediately change.

The 40-person shop currently works for clients such as Atari, Jiffy Lube, Meow Mix, Subway and Top-Flite, claiming billings of more than $200 million, a nearly 50 percent increase from 2003.

Bertino and Mambro had been principals in the Boston office of Dallas-based Square One for about a year before joining with McCarthy to form MMB. Previously, Bertino was president of Interpublic Group’s Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in Boston, and Mambro was an svp and associate creative director with the agency.

McCarthy had run brand consultancy McCarthy Co. in Princeton, N.J., working primarily on Boston Beer Co.’s flagship Samuel Adams brand.

MMB opened its doors with 10 employees and two accounts: the $15-20 million Samuel Adams business as well as the $5-8 million assignment of optical switching company Tellium.

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.