Initially, Mr. Jeary, the incoming president-chief operating officer at the newly rechristened Della Femina/Jeary & Partners, is targeting the beer, camera, automobile and package-goods categories. Clients in those areas would supplement Della Femina/Jeary's current roster, which includes Carvel, the Newspaper Association of America, Newsweek, Coty and Major League Baseball's New York Mets.
Mr. Jeary also plans to build public relations as a service for Della Femina/Jeary, a New York shop 49%-owned by Omnicom Group.
"Often media alone doesn't give you the results," he said. "If you can stretch your media dollar with public relations, you can get your message out in a broader and richer fashion."
Mr. Jeary said he's excited about this career move since it will allow him to have more hands-on experience with both clients and staffers.
"I left Saatchi because I wanted to do something more entrepreneurial," he said.
Mr. Jeary, former chairman-CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi's New York office, will co-lead the shop formerly known as Jerry & Ketchum with Chairman-CEO Jerry Della Femina.
Ending up with Mr. Della Femina is a homecoming of sorts for the 50-year-old executive. His tenure at Saatchi & Saatchi was preceded by a two-year stint at Mr. Della Femina's former shop, Della Femina McNamee, New York, where he was exec VP-management director beginning in 1988.
"That was the greatest thing I ever did in my career," said Mr. Jeary of his time at Della Femina McNamee. "It gave me a real appreciation for the power of creative."
Saatchi's then-chairman-CEO, Ed Wax, came calling in 1990. Mr. Jeary, who already knew the Saatchi environment after working for its predecessor agency, Dancer Fitzgerald Sample, from 1975 until 1988, joined up as exec VP-director of business development. In fall 1991, he moved to chairman-CEO of Saatchi's San Francisco office.
S.F. SHOP REVENUES RISE
Under Mr. Jeary's stewardship, the office's revenue increased more than $6 million in 2 years. In 1994, he returned to the East Coast as chairman-CEO of Saatchi's New York office at a significant point in the company's history -- agency founders Maurice and Charles Saatchi were about to be ousted.
"It was a challenging time," recalled Mr. Jeary. "As chairman-CEO of New York, I had to keep accounts and keep people motivated."
After the Saatchi brothers left, client Johnson & Johnson wanted to lower its agency fee. Mr. Jeary took personal control of the account. "We had to change the process, taking out time and cost," he said.
Mr. Jeary was promoted in '96 to Saatchi's worldwide board as vice chairman-worldwide director of marketing, but left the following May to found Michael Jeary &*Partners, a consultancy.
The Della Femina opportunity arose when outgoing President Jack Taylor decided to sell his stake and move into consulting. Mr. Jeary had kept in contact with Mr. Della Femina since leaving Saatchi; after a series of discussions, he decided to sign on.
"Everything else has been a dress rehearsal for this," said Mr. Jeary. "It feels absolutely fantastic. It's making your name a brand."