» Social Media Practices: Clients are putting money to work in Social Media and agencies are expanding their capabilities. Both Interpublic and Publicis are creating Social Media practices, PaidContent reports. Interpublic Group, one of the big three ad holding companies, will soon unveil details about its new social media unit, Rally. Publicis Groupe is also in the process of starting a dedicated social media unit within its digital hub, VivaKi. The new social media unit will pull in executives from around the agency to spur more collaboration. It should be up and running by the end of the year. It will be interesting to see how both media groups integrate their offerings with their Latin practices (e.g. SMV42 and Tapestry in Publicis case).  

» Free Paper publisher back in the black: UK’s Media Week reports that free (or as it likes to say “priceless”) newspaper group Metro International realized a profit (approximately $750,000 during the second quarter of 2010. The publisher is also in talks to sell its operations in Italy and Portugal. The Swedish Group is betting heavily on Latin America. It just announced that it is expanding its stake in its Mexican unit. Metro International’s CEO, Per Mikael Jensen, said at last month’s Portada Panregional Advertising and Media Summit that he expects that 15% of Metro’s revenues will be generated in Latin America by 2010.

» Trying to increase those local ad dollars. Large media companies are recognizing the importance of locally oriented media properties like newspapers, radio stations and TV stations. Yahoo, the leader in online display advertising, is partnering with Gannett’s 81 community newspapers to sell local advertising. The deal also includes Gannett’s broadcasting stations, suggesting that it goes beyond membership in Yahoo Newspaper Consortium, which has over 800 papers. (Steve Swartz, One of the main architects of the Yahoo-Newspaper Consortium will be one of the main Speakers at Portada’s “Connecting National Brands to Local Audiences” Conference, NYC, Sept. 30)

In addition, Yahoo recently signed a deal with local direct marketer Valassis as a way of capturing more advertising from telcos. Hispanic media behemoth Univision recently introduced a newly created division which reflects the realignment of all operations and sales for Univision’s local television stations, Univision Radio and local interactive properties into one division led Univision Communications Inc. The division will be led by Peter Walker, who was named to the newly created position of president of Univision Local Media.

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