Mr. McCarthy has been a noted change agent at J&J since he joined the company in 2005. He orchestrated a major realignment of the creative agencies handling its combined $1.4 billion advertising account. He was known for working hard to raise the creative bar at J&J, and his efforts included adding independent shops such as Mother and Taxi, both New York, to the roster.
Effective Aug. 18, he succeeds Gill Duff, who is moving to a yet-unspecified role working with a major client within the agency's parent, Publicis Groupe. Like Mr. Duff, Mr. McCarthy will report to Susan Gianinno, CEO of Publicis USA. Mr. McCarthy and a spokesman for J&J couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
"Earlier in the year [Ms. Gianinno] and I talked about my desire to have a fresh challenge, specifically one that would put me closer to clients," Mr. Duff said. He said the New York office has had a "good run" since he joined, with an "outstanding team in place and momentum."
Since Mr. Duff took the post four years ago, Publicis, New York has picked up work from Procter & Gamble Co. (Oral-B), Citibank and Whirlpool, following its acquisition of Maytag.
He said he's currently in discussions with Publicis Groupe about what his new role will be and with which client.
'Our strongest office'
In a statement, Ms. Gianinno said Publicis, New York, "has to be our strongest office," and that Mr. McCarthy, in partnership with President-Chief Creative Officer Rob Feakins, "have all it takes to lead a creatively driven, digitally savvy, client-attuned operation."
Mr. McCarthy started his career at Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, in 1980, working with clients that included P&G and J&J. He later joined Nike in 1993 as head of global advertising and was instrumental in leading the "Just Do It" campaign, which more than tripled sales to $7 billion. He was later a founding partner of an ad agency that still bears his name, McCarthy Mambro Bertino, Boston, in 2001.