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."
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."