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Our agency idol is doing big, noteworthy things. We encourage you to read, share and send your congratulations to Matt and team.

The Harvey team knew what was at stake when they hunkered down for a cozy Zoom meeting with a virtual white board and hot pink pen tools. The agency model wasn’t working – so they tore it down to the studs — and hammered out a new framework that simply came down to, “Let’s invite our  clients into the decision-making process. That creative friction may be uncomfortable sometimes, but it gives them more ownership over the ideas. And the final product will be results-driven —  that is the standard we want to set with Humble & Wallop.”



You Can Take the Agency Out of the Day-to-Day, But You Can’t Take the Day-to-Day Out of the Agency 


(September 19, 2023) – Baltimore legend and statement agency announces its bold decision to rebrand, beginning with a big ‘ol “see ya later” to the “Harvey” banner it’s carried for more than 35 years. With whom will they share the next chapter in a book you don’t want to put down? They call this chapter, “Humble & Wallop”. 

The new name is a nod to the challenges Harvey has been faced with, while remaining true to its core. That’s a big core to hold tight to, but for president Matt McDermott, it simply means always keeping up with, and remaining steady on the clients’ behalf, no matter what. 

“Humble is a reminder of how easy it is to get knocked on your ass in this industry,” McDermott dictates. “Wallop is the commitment to creating work that leaves an impact on the cultural conversation and the client’s bottom line.” As a unified front, the team enthusiastically adds, “Humble can take a punch. Wallop can give it back.”

With the new name comes a retooled approach to the agency’s creative process. Adapting elements from Lean UX and Agile development — methods used in the software industry — This new strategy thoughtfully employs three core tenets: continual idea iteration, near-daily client collaboration, and direct access to the agency’s creative team members. 

McDermott believes that this has helped eliminate some of the most time and cost-consuming factors that tend to impact creative projects, while also recognizing the challenges that clients often face. 

“The people that we work with on the client side are the ones with the most skin in the game. By giving them a bigger say in the early stages of the creative process, we can address their concerns, pivot approaches, and give them the co-ownership that they so frequently desire, to effectively advocate for bold ideas amongst their peers and competition.”

The agency name change may signal the end of an era for the firm, however it is a new era, beginning with the continuation of the spirited legacy of passion, optimism, and client obsession imbued by its previous owner. 

Originally founded by Kathy Harvey in 1986, Harvey’s client roster included global brands like Covergirl, Black & Decker, and McCormick & Company. Over the years, we have celebrated industry awards and corporate accolades for incredible high-visibility creative and category knowledge.

That said, in 2021, Covergirl informed the agency they were changing vendors and moving overseas…  overnight. With that, the agency’s then projected revenues shrank by 85% and profitability by nearly 100%. As this was happening, creative industry veteran Matt McDermott purchased the company from Ms. Harvey. He did so with hopes of reinvigorating the brand and evolving its services to meet the needs of clients facing increasing pressure to perform more quickly and with fewer resources than ever. 

In 2022, under McDermott’s leadership, the agency was able to recover half of the revenue lost from the Covergirl departure through a mix of new and existing business growth and extraordinary senior talent. Unfortunately, it was unable to turn a continuous profit and buckled under the weight of legacy expenses and long-term vendor contracts.

With that, McDermott made the difficult decision to lay off the beloved agency’s staff and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This filing opened the door for the agency to renegotiate its financial obligations while still focusing added resources and attention on the select group of clients it retained –  including Schmidt Baking Company, Vann’s Spices, Lightbridge Academy, and PIVOT Baltimore.

The forces of a dedicated team, a lot of work, and a bit of faith allowed us to find the way back to profitability, which also allowed focus to return to the core of our agency –  securing new clients, including George Washington University and American Public University.

The quiet combination of time and patience at hand, Matt and team are awaiting the approval of creditors to emerge from Chapter 11 before year end. The trust and tenacity behind what is now, “Humble & Wallop” is only the beginning to what kind of success we can certainly expect from McDermott and the team that reignited the agency. Stay tuned.

About Humble & Wallop: 

Humble & Wallop (formerly The Harvey Agency) is a strategy and creative agency that works with brands across industries including consumer packaged goods, food and beverage, manufacturing, home services, nonprofits, and education. With offices in Baltimore and Los Angeles, H&W has a distributed team of senior strategists, creatives, and directors focused on delivering timely work to seize cultural moments in real time. They do this by streamlining the entire process, working alongside clients from the onboarding stage, to the ideation stage, to the end game. It is in our long-standing agency blood that every idea has earned its right to be involved in the consumer and end-game conversation.


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