New Shop Targets Sam Adams Account

Partners Fred Bertino and Jamie Mambro are negotiating to leave the Boston office of Square One to form a new agency with Joe McCarthy, a brand consultant whose McCarthy Co. in Princeton, N.J., has handled creative chores on the $15 million Samuel Adams account since 1999, sources said.

Bertino, Mambro and McCarthy have been quietly working together to develop ad concepts for Samuel Adams, the flagship brand of Boston Beer Co., but were hindered by a potential conflict with Miller Lite, a showcase client of Dallas-based Square One, sources said.

The trio could announce their shop as soon as next week, sources said. Neither Bertino nor Mambro returned calls. McCarthy declined comment, as did Square One partner Ernie Capobianco.

Though details of the transaction had not been completed Friday afternoon, the new shop may work some accounts in a loose affiliation with Square One, sources said.

Bertino left as president of Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in Boston, last May to become an equity partner in Square One with Mambro, a former Hill, Holliday top creative hired to start up Square One’s Boston office, its first satellite shop.

The Boston outpost has been relatively quiet. Its only known client is Tellium, an optical switching company based in Oceanport, N.J., whose account is estimated at $5-8 million.