AHAA, on Friday wrapped up its annual conference in Miami, which this year was presented as being all about client insights. The event attracted a little over 400 people and featured presentations by top advertisers, including Clorox, Eli Lilly, Google and Diageo. The conference also featured the first USH Idea Awards Gala, presented in collaboration with Círculo Creativo, and sponsored by Arbitron and Delta Media.

Some highlights of the conference and business bits collected by Portada while in Miami.

To the disappointment of many attendees, one of the most highly anticipated presentations, the one by Tecate’s Felix Palau, was cancelled for personal reasons. Attendees were anxious to hear more insights behind Tecate’s recent decision to leave its U.S. agency Ramona de Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners, for its Mexican agency, Olabuenaga Chemistri. Tecate’s presentation was replaced by an improvised panel giving attendees a sneak preview into this year’s creative awards. (NOTE: Felix Palau recently confirmed his presence at Portada’s 6th Annual Hispanic Digital and Print Media Conference in New York City on Sept. 20th,  2012)

Hispanic advertising shop WING, owned by WPP Group’s Grey Worldwide, is set to start working this year on creative duties for recently acquired client RadioShack. RadioShack in April selected Grey as lead advertising agency of record after a lengthy review. The move means that RadioShack's creative and media duties are now under the same holding company; media planning and buying is handled by WPP's Mindshare, which was not affected by the review.

Chicago-based Elemento L2, the experiential marketing shop founded by Marco López, is working with client Coca-Cola to build a Hispanic-themed plaza (Plaza Coca-Cola) around the May 27th soccer match between Mexico and Wales in New Jersey. The event will feature Univision’s Fernando Fiore and will place a 25-foot replica of Mexico City’s iconic Ángel de la Independencia monument.

Marc S. Strachan, VP of multicultural marketing at Diageo, North America, wowed the audience with a lively Friday morning presentation, exposing his reasons why this is the greatest time to be in multicultural marketing. Strachan also urged agency executives to: “Consider yourselves an ‘agency,’ not a multicultural –or Hispanic- agency.”

Gonzalo Lopez Martí, a former creative and digital director at S.C.P.F., is now heading his own Advertising shop, Atkins Lopez Martí, in partnership with Lane Atkins. The shop has produced a national campaign for Ideal Image Laser Hair Removal and has entered into a creative alliance with New York City-based Z Tribeca to develop media for the Hispanic market.

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