Introducing New Ownership for One of Baltimore’s Oldest Ad Agencies

Dec 9, 2021 | Jose Palacios Kathy Harvey passing the baton over to Matt McDermott

Kathy Harvey sells agency she founded in 1986

For Immediate Release

(8 December 2021 - Baltimore, MD)

Kathy Harvey, the founder of advertising agency Harvey, has sold her firm to Chief Creative Officer and Managing Director Matt McDermott for an undisclosed amount. Founded in 1986, the agency has nurtured decades-long relationships with global and regional clients across various industries, including beauty, hospitality, consumer packaged goods, and non-profit. From the agency’s humble beginnings in the basement of Kathy Harvey’s parents’ house, the agency grew into one of the most respected firms in the area, operating out of its headquarters in Sparks, MD. Recently the agency relocated to the Union Collective campus in Baltimore City’s historic Woodberry neighborhood.

A graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art, Kathy Harvey combined a creative eye with business-savvy to win accounts from global brands including Procter & Gamble, McCormick, Stanley Black & Decker, Manischewitz, and Coty. “I’m proud of what the team at Harvey has accomplished for our clients,” said Kathy Harvey. “I built this agency on great relationships — and my liver,” she joked. With the addition of McDermott, Harvey saw the opportunity to accelerate her retirement plans.

Like Kathy Harvey, McDermott has been a fixture in the Baltimore advertising and marketing community for decades, leading creative teams at several agencies in the region. McDermott has also held multiple officer roles on the American Advertising Federation of Baltimore (AAFB) board of directors, including president from 2018 to 2020. During that time, he fought digital tax legislation in Annapolis, reformed AAFB bylaws, and advocated for greater equity and inclusivity within the club and the industry. Under his tenure, the AAFB welcomed its most diverse board of directors in the club’s 100-year history.

Now, he sets his sights on the past and future of Harvey. “The name Harvey will stay on our front door,” says McDermott. “While this is a huge opportunity to evolve this agency into a bigger national player in the creative and advertising world, I’m committed to preserving the legacy of this place — Kathy’s legacy.”

Since joining the agency in late March of 2021, McDermott has helped to reimagine processes, increase profitability, and rethink how the agency will compete in today’s chaotic marketing environment. He’s transitioned an agency known for its design, branding, and in-store displays into a full-service consumer experience firm. “Our mission is to create moments that customers never want to end,” said McDermott. “To do that, we’ve got to earn the customer’s attention — not simply disrupt or distract.”

As for Kathy Harvey, she’s excited to focus on her next business venture: Penwell African Safaris. The company creates custom luxury excursions to Africa — a place that’s been a spiritual second home for her for more than 30 years. “It’s an exciting chance to introduce more people to the beauty of Africa, its people, its land, and its incredible culture,” says Harvey. The agency is planning a private event for staff, clients, and friends in early 2022 to celebrate the transition and unveil the next chapter of Harvey.


About Harvey:

HARVEY is a full-service consumer experience and creative agency in Baltimore. Since 1986, they’ve helped national and global brands deliver powerful moments and nurture enduring relationships through every stage of the consumers’ journeys. Clients include CoverGirl, Sally Hansen, Rimmel, the H&S Family of Bakeries, Flying Dog Brewery, Loyola University, and Glory Days Grill.


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