Sarah Fay on running Carat USA


Newly-appointed Carat USA CEO Sarah Fay (7/30/07 TVBR #147) spoke with RBR/TVBR about her promotion and more of the philosophy behind the Carat USA-Carat Fusion reorganization. Fay was Aegis' ISOBAR CEO, and is now Carat CEO, reporting to Carat Americas CEO David Verklin.

She tells us: "We've kind of had strategies in the works for a long time, and I have to say [departing Carat USA CEO] Ray Warren was very much a collaborative participant in all of it. So it didn't come out of the blue one day, but did accelerate a little faster than everybody had planned. We're with both leadership teams today and we're starting to get the hammer and anvil out and really figure out how this thing is going to work. A lot of people are very excited about it. We've already had calls from potential clients and people reading about it in the press, so we seemed to have hit a need vein in the market."

Does anything change with Andy Donchin, Carat Americas Director of Broadcast Buying?

"No, I mean he's super-important to the company. TV will continue to be very important as a discipline. One of the things we're proud of is our degree of specialty in all of the mediums. We have one of the biggest local broadcast buying groups under Mary Barnas; we have one of the biggest Outdoor offerings in the country and great planning, too. All of these parts and pieces are great in and of themselves, but the online and offline sides of the business have been parallel tracking. We've been two separate businesses with lines into the same client. You ultimately at some point in the game have to structure yourselves around the clients so there is a single client lead and a single client strategy-someone who can speak equally knowledgably across all of the services of the company and then develop strategies that leverage each of the mediums against each other. So we certainly won't stop devising big broadcast programs, but we want to use digital in ways that maps to those programs. So if you run a big TV campaign, what's going to happen in Search? And will people be ready with the plans and the inventory to map the search inventory to the TV message? It's really connecting the dots between the mediums so all of the mediums together create more impact and engagement."

Fay tells us she'll keep her family in Boston for now and commute to the NYC offices. She may get an apartment in NYC down the road.