AHAA Tackles Members Concerns Over ‘The Univision Agency’

Earlier this week, hours after Univision announced the creation of an internal agency to handle a media inventory of US $500 million, the emails began to pour in Roberto Orcí’s inbox. The CEO of Acento Advertising and Chair of AHAA found himself fielding questions and concerns- by member agencies seeking to know if Univision’s move would be ultimately detrimental for their business.

There were so many questions and confusion, that on Tuesday afternoon AHAA put out a statement saying that: "AHAA looks forward to continuing its partnership with Univision to ensure that 'The Univision Agency' does not negate the use of Hispanic agencies." The statement went on to say that AHAA will continue working with Univision to promote a vibrant Hispanic marketing segment.

In the past, Univision has angered more than one by embarking in offering creative and media services for clients, skipping the marketer’s agencies and working directly with the advertiser

AHAA members had a reason to be concerned. In the past, Univision has angered more than one by embarking in offering creative and media services for clients, skipping the marketer’s agencies and working directly with the advertiser. This has prompted AHAA to hold discussions with the media company several times in the past.

"We have rallied around the idea that clients are better served if they have the full depth and breadth that the Hispanic market offers", says Orcí in explaining why he felt it necessary to issue a public statement.

In a nutshell, and according to Univision’s own press release, the Univision Agency will be responsible for all cross-channel promotions as well as research and creative services for clients and internal divisions.

And it was precisely the word "clients" which prompted AHAA’s reaction.

"The reason I put out a statement was because the way the [Univision] press release was worded," explains Orcí. I would have used different words. Also, he says calling it an ‘agency’ was partly what caused the concern.

"Many members thought the Univision Agency would compete with them. But [Univision] has assured me it won’t."
Internal Clients

Indeed, Univision executives says the Univision Agency, which will employ about 65 people in Miami, New York and Los Angeles, will handle work for internal clients, i.e. the different Univision properties.

"Let me be clear. We are not competing with advertising agencies at all," says Jessica Rodriguez, Univision’s EVP of program scheduling & promotions. This is media planning related to our assets. We will continue to work with [external] ad agencies the way we’ve done in the past."

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About Laura Martinez (@miblogestublog)

Laura has lived and worked as a journalist in Mexico, Chile, Argentina and the U.S. She was the founder and editor in chief of Marketing y Medios magazine, an English- language trade publication devoted to explaining the Hispanic market to a non-Spanish speaking audience of executives and marketers. Prior to that, she was responsible for creating and launching the Spanish-language edition of the Wall Street Journal. She was also the creator and founding editor of Entrepreneur magazine´s Spanish-language Web site www.SoyEntrepreneur.com. She is fluent in Spanish, English and French and works as a freelance writer and editor in New York City.

Comments

  1. Gonzalo says:

    Sounds like a toothless entity to me: a sheltered shop with no need to fight for new business, catering to a roster of clients that cannot fire it. A recipe for monotony. Which might be the goal after all: to build consistent branding across the board for the multiple properties in the ever-growing Univisión ecosystem. Sorry for using a horrible cliché like ecosystem.
    Then again, I could be wrong. Maybe the security of having captive clients that simply cannot walk away is liberating. Maybe it fosters a daring, vibrant creative culture with a long term strategic view for its amalgam of clients.The antidote to fear and/or complacency.
    As I said, I could be wrong. I doubt it though. I’m never wrong.
    I am from Argentina.

  2. Longtime veteran says:

    Anybody who’s ever been in more than four meetings with Univision knows it is IMPOSSIBLE for them to be a creative threat. Seriously. Sábado Gigante has been their big reveal for 50 YEARS at their upfronts, followed by insert Televisa programming [here.] Puh-lease people!

  3. Cara M says:

    You reap what you sow. Hispanic Ad Agencies have been obsessed with only buying Hispanic tv and only making TV commercials for too long. Maybe the Hispanic Ad agency world will now wake up from their borderline neurosis and obsession with the idea that Hispanic Media and marketing = Univision. “Latinos don’t read” has been the mantra of many a Hispanic ad shop and it is time that Hispanic newspapers, their Web sites and the idea that Hispanics only watch TV and only watch Univision be killed. Hispainc read. Their local newspapers, which are alive and well and open to working with ad agencies and media buyers. Reach versus frequency, folks. Hispanic America is sick of Corporate America only speaking to them on TV. On Bad programming with limited info. Hispanic newspapers are ready!

  4. Another industry veteran says:

    Univision has one way of doing business, to serve themselves and gather the biggest $ regardless of the reality for the client, consumer and/or Hispanic Agencies.
    This is the way it has always been and the way it will always be, especially as they prepare to go public again.
    Yes, the Hispanic agencies need to step it up, but working as a team with the media is essential. The Hispanic agencies already have a hard enough time already without the media side-swiping them every chance they get.
    Great write-up, Laura.