McCarthy will be tasked with launching Fantastic Media's planning toolkit, which is aimed at transforming clients' businesses through insight and strategic planning.
Andy Hobson, managing director of Fantastic Media, said: "The appointment of Andrew is a logical step in our development. We've always had a 'results-driven' philosophy and Andrew's experience and insight will be an important addition to our offering."
McCarthy started out as a consultant at Arthur Andersen, where he worked closely with WPP over a five-year period.
Saatchi & Saatchi recruited him as its commercial manager, where he worked on the Hewlett Packard Europe, Lloyds TSB, Diageo brands and Lexus accounts.
He then moved to Wunderman to oversee the Ford of Europe account, before he relocated back to Leeds in 2003. He co-founded two businesses in the city, which he then sold on.
McCarthy said: "I add an unusual combination of agency, consultant and client experience. Certainly, many of our SME clients want input from somebody who's faced similar challenges and built their own businesses and strong brands, through integrated strategic planning."
Fantastic Media's recent client wins include Converse Music, Casino Red, and Street Athletics for Olympic medal winners Linford Christie and Darren Campbell.
This article was first published on brandrepublic.com