Shop Forms Around Sam Adams

Fred Bertino and Jamie Mambro were unable to make much of an impression leading the local office of Square One. Believing that starting over with an entirely new venture might prove more successful, the pair last week joined forces with brand consultant Joe McCarthy to form the region’s newest shop.

“With our experience we want to think nationally from day one,” said Bertino, president of the startup. “We want to work for big brands.”

Bertino and Mambro serve as creative directors of the 10-person Boston outfit; McCarthy is chief executive officer. The launch of McCarthy Mambro Bertino had been expected.

Bertino and Mambro had been principals in the Boston office of Dallas-based Square One for about a year. Previously, Bertino was president of Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston, where Mambro was executive vice president/associate creative director.

McCarthy had run McCarthy Co. in Princeton, N.J., working primarily on Boston Beer Co.’s flagship Samuel Adams brand. McCarthy, also a former global marketing director for Nike, will relocate to Boston.

McCarthy Mambro Bertino launches in Square One’s office space and retains the staff from that operation. However, the startup maintains no affiliation with Square One, which will now have no local presence.

There have been numerous Boston successes in recent months. Modernista! has won plum assignments from MTV, General Motors’ Hummer and the Gap; Velocity Advertising launched campaigns for Bob’s Stores and Just For Feet. Deutsch’s local outpost has added regional accounts and is a finalist for Mohegan Sun. Square One had never gained local momentum. “Jamie and I spent a lot of time in Dallas working on all their accounts,” making it difficult to pursue new business, Bertino said.

To succeed in today’s marketplace, “You need a profile, clients, [great] work and luck,” said Steve Connelly, a former agency president and creative director who now helms Connelly Partners, Boston.

Given the initial makeup of McCarthy Mambro Bertino, “I think they have a chance,” Connelly said.

Another factor in the new shop’s formation was a desire by Bertino and Mambro to work with McCarthy, whose Sam Adams account posed a conflict with Square One’s Miller Lite. Along with the $15-20 million Sam Adams business, McCarthy Mambro Bertino also works on the $5-8 million account of Tellium, Square One’s lone notable client in Boston.