How Will Macri’s Victory Impact Argentine Marketing and Media?
What happened on November 22 in Argentina was not just the election of a new president, but the emergence of a new model for the country led by figurehead Mauricio Macri, who will now lead the country as president. Comments from players in the Argentine Marketing and Media Sector. Key questions to consider going forward.
Using soccer terminology, what happened that Sunday was similar to a Boca-River game, with a 3-2 result (understanding the biometric as a symbolic metaphor for the ideological polarity that is so ingrained in Argentina, and assuming that both teams gave it their best shot on the field). In other words, as much as there was a clear winner, what is certain is that Daniel Scioli, who was backed by current president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, was very close to achieving his goal.
In the local advertising and digital marketing environment, people eagerly awaited the triumph of Macri and his policies, which would favor the economic development of the sector given that it depends highly on the international economy, whose dynamics were complicated during Kirchner's terms. Scioli was unlikely to make many adjustments to that scenario.
In fact, lately, international investors in the sector were wary of Argentina, a country that had traditionally attracted great attention, and started considering México, Colombia, Chile and even Uruguay for investment instead. Brazil also attracted development, but due to its cultural and language particularities, it should almost be considered independently of Spanish-speaking Latin America.
With Macri's triumph, there is a certain sense of relief in the industry, and one can perceive dramatically improved outlooks for 2016. Decision-makers in the local digital market hope that international business and investment returns to Argentina, and that financial operations outside of the country are facilitated by less stringent regulations. Another issue is the hope that trust can be repaired between Argentina and global financial players, which is key to defining strategy and sustaining business development in the long term. This sentiment is openly expressed at events and informal meetings, as well as through social media. An example of this is the Facebook profile of Martín Caraoghlanian, CEO of AdCuality.com, who authorized us to publish the content of this text in Portada:
"Yesterday, I listened to Macri's first press conference as president-elect: what a sense of calm I felt listening to a normal future president that:
- Didn't fight with anyone
- Didn't accuse a media outlet of anything, and didn't respond with aggression
- Didn't speak of himself as if he were a hero
- Responded to all of the media's questions
- For those who thought he was a "neo-liberal devil,"confirmed that his first trip will be to Brazil (and not to the US, like the fear-mongerers were saying)
- In fact, only reaffirmed the same things that he said during his campaign
Or was it not like that, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner? What a great era awaits us. I hope we become a first-world country again.
As dangerous as it is to generalize, what is true is that this opinion reflects that of the majority of the big players in the local digital industry. There are probably players that defend Kirchner's politics in this group, although they are, for the most part, cancelled out by the majority that is overwhelmingly "anti-K."
We can almost confirm that there is virtually no space for favorable sentiments towards the Kirchners in the local digital industry, which is not news, since Scioli consistently demonstrated that he would carry on the current administration's policies while Macri was more aligned with the logic of the free market.
Questions to Consider
It would be too much to try to establish the scenario for 2016, but we can make hypotheses and ask questions related to the impact that the implementation of certain policies will have on the local media industry.
What would happen if the local currency were devalued?
In this case, Argentina would be considered one of the primary destinations for foreign investment, given that in some aspects, advertising and digital marketing companies operate as exporters of services to meet the international demand in this sector. In this sense, the demand for professionals and businesses related to exportable services (like app development, ad campaigns, the management of international media companies' monetization efforts, etc.) will increase.
Media Policy: According to rumors, the Law of Audiovisual Communication Services 26.522 (popularly known as the "Media Law") would be subject to debate with the goal of updating it, given that the new government would be responding to a dispute between the exiting administration and large media conglomerates. On the other hand, this revision could impact the digital industry since the Internet would be included in this revision, although at this point we can not clearly assess how this would impact the market.
Ad Campaigns: In the event that it is possible to regain the trust of the global marketplace and that local companies will again be able to make long-term decisions, advertisers could end up increasing investment in the region.
But this is just an initial panorama, and we will soon see what concrete announcements will take place.