Analysis: (Hispanic) Media Buying – On Why ZenithOptimedia snaps up Accounts

Hispanic Media buying and to a lesser extent planning is increasingly being the domain of general market agencies.

This is not exactly news, what is remarkable, though, is that the trend has accelerated over the last sixth months. See for example Publicis Groupe’s ZenithOptimedia, which since Lisa Torres joined the agency as President, Zenith Media Multicultural in February 2011 has snapped several accounts from agencies that are in the Multicultural /Hispanic specific niche.
ZenithOptimedia  won the Verizon Wireless media planning and buying business from Global Hue Latino. It also  took  General Mills  away from  Casanova Pendrill (Costa Mesa, CA) and Bromley (San Antonio, TX) as well as from Media 8 (Miami, FL) for the digital business.   Other ZenithOptimedia accounts include Denny’s, Pizza Hut and Sonic.

Total Market Approach…
Many marketing departments of major U.S. companies are integrating Hispanic marketing into their overall U.S. Marketing  plans as opposed to treating Hispanic as an independent niche.  (There definitely are exceptions like Clorox’s recent launch of Hispanic specific Spanish-language campaign Clorox Fragancia)  

…and how it affects the client- agency relationship
The Total Market approach also has organization and personnel consequences; Johnson & Johnson recently made the role of several of its multicultural marketing managers redundant. Generally, multicultural duties are being added to the job descriptions of the brand managers. This is also happening in several CPG companies. The consequence of these corporate reorganizations. for the client-agency relationship is that general market agencies obtain the Hispanic/multicultural business.

Again, this is the underlying trend, There is definitely still a role for Hispanic specific agencies, particularly in the creative space. Even in media buying and planning, e.g. see The Vidal Partnership (which plans and buys for J&J’s Zyrtec and Remy Martin), or Inspire which does the same for Sprint,  and many others.  Even small recently formed shops like Dallas based TruMedia which buys media for Maseca have been able to carve a niche.

Digital expertise

But the trend, particularly for major accounts, is to increasingly use general market agencies, albeit often their multicultural units (e.g. Starcom’s Tapestry).
Digital media expertise is also often a plus for general market agencies when pitching for Hispanic work.  Digitas , a member of the Publicis Group like ZenithOptimedia , for instance has the Hispanic digital accounts for the Mars brands Snickers, M&M and Twix.


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Marcos Baer @MarcosBaer

Marcos oversees editorial and sales. He is based in Portada's NYC headquarters. Prior to launching Portada in 2003, Marcos worked in both the media and finance sectors. He occupied leading roles at the Spanish edition of The Wall Street Journal, in Spain’s newspaper Cinco Dias and at SwissRe. He is an MBA, and a CFA. Marcos is a print junkie and also loves all things digital media. He also is passionate about everything related to New York City and loves to play tennis.

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