Grupo Clarin


Programmatic Media Buying and Marketing was an important theme at last week’s #PortadaLat annual conference in Miami. Speakers but also sponsors and exhibitors at the event, including Yume, Playwire, AcuityAds (a DSP), Dynadmic and Teads  all have a stake in the advance of programmatic media buying in Latin America. How key players from MEC, MediaMath and Clarin/Agea evaluate the advance of Ad-Tech and Programmatic into the region.

LatAmErich Wasserman, CRO and co-founder of MediaMath and Fernando Monedero, Head of Digital Latin America at MEC, had a lively conversation about Programmatic and Real-Time Marketing in Latin America now and where it should be in 2025.
Monedero  expects a “meteoric” 600% increase in programmatic media spend this year in Latin America (Source – Emarketer & IDC)  and a total ad expenditure via programmatic means of more than US $140 million in 2016. However, he acknowledged that this is a relatively low ratio if it is taken into account that the overall Latin American digital media expenditure is close to US $5 billion.
MediaMath’s Wasserman stressed the fact that Brazil already is the second largest market in programmatic volume after the United States.  Asked by Monedero, about  how he was able to foresee a future in programmatic marketing when MediaMath was founded in 2004, Wasserman said  that what he did observe at the time was a “lack of a unifying technology for buying digital media.” According to Wasserman, “Latin America is very advantaged because it has a large media supply landscape as well as an increasing amount of disposable bandwidth.” Wasserman added that “Digital Marketing can be measured to a large degree in Latin America, perhaps with the exception of off-line attribution which is possible in the United States in Europe.”

To incorporate native advertising into programmatic is the next frontier.

Asked by the audience about how native advertising can be incorporated into programmatic, Wasserman noted that this is the next frontier, not just in Latin America but globally. One condition for this to happen is that data for native advertising becomes available to third parties for audience verification in a trend Wasserman describes as the “Democratization of Data”.

The LatAm Media Owners View on Programmatic

In a very interesting presentation Tomás Salvagni, Managing Director Sales and Marketing at Grupo Clarin’s AGEA, presented the Latin America’s media owners view on programmatic. Salvagni was introduced by Lucas Mentasti, Managing Director Latin America, Xaxis, the global programmatic digital platform owned by GroupM.

Programmatic trading has substantially contributed to diminish non-monetized inventory.

Salvagni presented figures showing that while in 2013 programmatic ad sales for Argentinean media powerhouse Clarin were still very low, the ratio is rapidly increasing to 24 % of digital sales in 2015 and an expected 35% in 2016.  Clarin employs 80 direct sales people in for direct sales and 8 are employed working with the implementation of programmatic. Interestingly, direct sales brings in 500 campaigns a year, while programmatic brings in 5,000 campaigns. The implementation of programmatic digital advertising has decreased the amount of non-monetized inventory in Clarin’s digital properties from 53% to 12% (Direct Sales monetizes 47% of the inventory). Approximately 75% of programmatic trading at Clarin/Agea is open RTB, while 25% is done through private marketplaces (PMP).

Salvagni also noted that the principles of digital programmatic trading should also be used for off-line media. For instance he pointed out that ROP and/or special sections in the Clarin Group’s newspaper would also profit from real-time programmatic bidding processes.

Salvagni.2In the second of our series of interviews with #Portadalat Speakers (the Latin American Advertising and Media Summit and the Latin Online Video Forum in Miami on June 3-4), we talked to Tomás Salvagni, Commercial Manager at Grupo Clarin’s AGEA.  Salvagni explains how he sees the development of Ad-Tech in Latin America and describes the main challenges he sees in order to accelerate its adoption.

Portada: First of all, what is your Current role at Agea and what is Agea?
Tomás Salvagni, Commercial Manager at Agea: “AGEA is a company of Grupo Clarín which manages the newspapers, magazines, printing and digital business of the Clarín Group. The Group ranks among the top five per audiences reached by Argentina’s Grupo Clarin. It is the leader in Argentina in Print, Digital and Mobile. Grupo Clarín has other companies, which lead in the businesses of Cable Distribution, TV, Radio and Content Production. I am the Commercial Manager at AGEA, reporting directly to the General Manager and responsible for the commercial strategy and execution, including marketing and sales, for every platform and brand.”

Portada: Can you tell us a bit about your career and how and where you learned the skills for your current role?
Tomás Salvagni: “I have a degree in Business Administration from Argentina and a Master at Thunderbird Arizona. I started my career as a product manager at Molinos, the main food company in Argentina,  and migrated to Clarín 15 years ago, where I began managing the marketing of the Classified Business. There I started to get involved with Digital, buying and developing portals for Automotives, Real Estate and Employment. Today we are leaders in Real Estate and have an important presence in Automotive and Employment. I started by selling digital at Clarín.com for a short period in the year 1999. Later, after an integration of the business, I was promoted to Commercial Manager and started to commercialize our main portals: Clarín, Ole, GranDT; and we developed Entremujeres among other sites. I am constantly learning in this fast-moving industry and trying to keep up the company not only in leading audiences, but also in technology and commercialization.”

When it comes to mobile we are standing behind.

Portada: At what stage is the adoption of Ad-Tech in Latin America?
Tomás Salvagni: “Ad Tech came in fast to Latin America. We are used to see new developments coming to LatAm some years later than to most developed markets, but with digital this has changed very fast. However, the development of the mobile infrastructure is slow and when it comes to mobile we are standing behind. We are a relevant and well-known Publisher in Latam, and different technology suppliers contact us very often in order to offer us their solutions for online advertising. These suppliers are mostly interested in increasing our inventory, providing tools of Big Data, advertising data manager, native ads platforms, programatic platforms, etc.”

Native Advertising and Content is a topic of conversation between us and the newsroom.

Portada: What are the main challenges when it comes to accelerate this adoption?
Tomás Salvagni: “The challenges are the scarce human resources and Argentina’s weak currency. People in Argentina work for the rest of the world and we are all competing to hold that know how. The good part of it, is that there is a really advanced digital cluster in Argentina that helps to speed the developement. We try to learn every day by testing different tools and comparing the results.We are very curious and open-minded when we explore opportunities, and we are constantly evaluating new projects.”

Portada: Native Advertising and Content Marketing is growing a lot. How does Agea reflect this in its product offerings?
Tomás Salvagni: “We are not where we would like to be in native and content marketing yet, but I believe it´s going to be a really important portion, we need to keep improving all the revenue sources. Native Advertising and Content is a topic of conversation between us and the newsroom, in the last 3 months. We are constantly working to promote this kind of formats in the market.

Our upcoming Portada LatAm Summit preceded by the Latin Online Video Forum in Miami’s Hyatt Regency Hotel on June 3-4 is getting an amazing speaker roster with top executives of the Global and Latin American Marketing and Media World. We just got the confirmation of the following 4 major speakers:


Jon Suarez, VP, Global Media & Digital Strategy, Kellogg Company



Erich Wasserman, Co-Founder, Chief Revenue Officer, MediaMath



Tomas Salvagni, Gerente-Division Comercial, Grupo Clarin



Manuel Medina Riveroll Marketing Director Mexico Bayer

 Manuel Medina Riveroll, Marketing Director Mexico, Bayer



 Early bird tickets are going fast! Register now!

Check out more confirmed speakers here!

Join us at PORTADA Mexico!

@KelloggCompany, @ClarinCom, @MediaMath, and @BayerMexico added to great Speaker Roster! @erichwasserman, @tsalvagni

Our upcoming Portada LatAm Summit preceded by the Latin Online Video Forum in Miami’s Hyatt Regency Hotel on June 3-4 is getting an amazing speaker roster with top executives of the Global and Latin American Marketing and Media World. We just got the confirmation of the following 4 major speakers:


Jon Suarez, VP, Global Media & Digital Strategy, Kellogg Company



Erich Wasserman, Co-Founder, Chief Revenue Officer, MediaMath



Tomas Salvagni, Gerente-Division Comercial, Grupo Clarin



Manuel Medina Riveroll Marketing Director Mexico Bayer

 Manuel Medina Riveroll, Marketing Director Mexico, Bayer



 Early bird tickets are going fast! Register now!

Check out more confirmed speakers here!

Last week, the Argentina Supreme Court ruled in favor of the constitutionality of the Audiovisual Communication Services Law (LSCA) 26522/09, known as the “Media Law”.

Translated by Candice Carmel

The new law that regulates the country’s broadcasting services was passed four years ago. Since then, Grupo Clarin has been challenging the law’s constitutionality in the courts, claiming it suppresses freedom of the press and affects the group’s economic sustainability.

Foto: Daniel Go. Bajo licencia CC.
Foto: Daniel Go. Bajo licencia CC.
The new law sets a limit on the number of media licenses that can be held by a single company, among other regulations, in an effort to prevent monopolies. This forces Clarin to divest itself of properties in order to comply with the law.

The constitutionality of the audiovisual services law was endorsed by six of the seven judges on the Supreme Court: Ricardo Lorenzetti, Elena Highton de Nolasco, Enrique Petracchi, Carmen Argibay, Juan Carlos Maqueda, and Raul Zaffaroni. Judge Carlos Fayt cast the lone dissenting vote.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court stated that “Grupo Clarin’s right to freedom of expression is not affected, as it has not been established that the licensing regime imposed by the law jeopardizes [the company’s] economic sustainability. Sustainability cannot be equated to profitability.”

Sustainability cannot be equated to profitability

As for affording it the chance to be a critical voice in the mass media, the Court stated that “it is not acceptable that only an economy of scale, such as that currently owned [by Grupo Clarin], will ensure sufficient independence to constitute a critical voice. There are numerous small or medium-sized media that exert a critical role and, conversely, there are large media concerns that are condescending of whatever government is in power at the time.”

Plurality of voices

Foto: Andrew Plumb. Bajo licencia CC.
Foto: Andrew Plumb. Bajo licencia CC.

The Argentina Supreme Court determined that the law passed and enacted by the Argentine Congress, which is the country’s legislative branch, not only does not attack freedom of expression, but favors it. The Audiovisual Communication Services Law gives non-profit institutions (such as NGOs, religious organizations, etc.) the opportunity to hold media licenses, as well as guarantees the plurality of license ownership by limiting the number of licenses that can be held.

“Freedom of expression, from a collective aspect, has the goal of protecting public debate by giving ample opportunity of expression to the various segments that represent society. [The idea] is to strengthen a deliberative democracy in which everyone can, on an equal footing, express their views and in which dominant voices cannot be permitted,” stated the Court.

Article 45 of the law sets the maximum limits that may be held by any one group: 24 cable licenses; must not exceed coverage of 35% of the total population or subscribers; may not hold more than one content signal, cable license, or broadcast TV license at the local level; three local licenses, one content signal for radio and broadcast TV licensees; and one proprietary signal for cable licensees.

What it means for Grupo Clarin

Grupo Clarin far exceeds these limits, which means it will have to submit a plan to comply with the law and divest itself of properties.

After the ruling, Clarin released a statement that said it “respects the Court’s decision” but would not rule out taking its case before international courts.

After the ruling was announced, the group’s shares plummeted 20.83% on the London Stock Exchange and also lost 5.76% of their value on the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange on the same day.

Grupo Clarin’s current situation

1.A group may only hold up to 10 radio and broadcast TV licenses nationwide. Clarin has 12: four TV channels (Canal 13 in Capital Federal, Canal 12 in Cordoba, Canal 10 in Bahia Blanca, and Canal 7 in Bariloche) , plus eight AM and FM radio stations (including Mitre and FM 100).
2. A cable station and TV station may not be owned in the same location.
3. A cable operator may own only one proprietary signal. Clarin owns TN, El Trece Satelital, TyC Sports, Quiero, Rural, and Metro, among others.
4. A single cable operator may only provide coverage in 24 locations. Cablevision services 158 cities.
5. A single group’s reach may not exceed 35% of the national population. The AFSCA states that Clarin’s radio stations in eight cities reach more than 42% of the population; while Canal 13 and its broadcast TV channels in other provinces reach 39%. Its cable TV operations encompass 237 licenses and 59% of all subscribers, according to the AFSCA.


License limits: Grupo Clarin may not hold more than 10 radio (AM and FM) and broadcast TV licenses countrywide. Clarin currently has 11 broadcast TV licenses: four TV channels in Capital Federal (13), Cordoba (12), Bahia Blanca (7), and Bariloche (6). It also holds eight radio licenses: two AM stations that operate under the name of Radio Mitre in Buenos Aires and Cordoba, and five FM stations in the same cities, plus Mendoza, Bariloche, and Mar del Plata.

In order to comply with the 10 license-limit, it would need to part with only one of its properties, which can be either TV or radio.

One of its options is to choose between Channel 13 in Buenos Aires, and Channel 12 in Cordoba, or to keep its Cablevision properties in both cities.

Cable – Pay TV

Grupo Clarin can only hold one proprietary cable signal. It currently owns the cable signals of Todo Noticias, Volver, Quiero Música en Mi Idioma, Metro, and Magazine, and also has a stake in TyC Sports and Canal Rural.

Under the law, a media group can hold up to 24 licenses nationwide. According to information released by the Audiovisual Communication Services Authority, the Hector Magnetto-led group has 237 pay TV licenses.

The law also states that “the multiplicity of licenses may in no case involve the possibility of providing services to more than 35 percent of the total national population.” The AFSCA, the agency charged with applying and enforcing the new law, estimates that the media group’s radio operations service 41.88 percent of the country’s population, while its broadcast TV operations reach 38.78 percent, and its Pay TV services cover 58.61 percent—which means it exceeds the limit in all cases.

Internet services

Regarding its divestment options, Grupo Clarin stated that “this is unprecedented elsewhere in the world” and that the group “provides Internet access through its cable TV network, which means 134 cities would be left without service, thereby favoring telephone companies, which control 55 % of the Internet access market.”

Internet cable TV service is one of the points Grupo Clarin is expected to pursue in its court fight, claiming that applying the pay TV license limits on a network that also provides Internet services is a very complex issue that leads to other questions, such as: What law will be applied to its Cablevision network? Will it be the Media Law and its 24-license limit, or the Telecommunications Law (instituted by Dictator Alejandro Lanusse in 1972), which does not set limits on those types of licenses (necessary for providing Internet and telephone services)?

To this end, La Nación published a very clear infographic about Grupo Clarin’s options and the limitations placed by the Audiovisual Communication Services Law.

 [ Graphic Translation] 

How the law impacts the group’s makeup – Number of licenses held by the company and how many it should be left with after the Supreme Court decision

Grupo Clarin´s Shareholders: GC Dominio 71% – Noble, Magnetto, Aranda, and Pagliaro.  Stock market 20% – 8% of these stocks are held by the State.  GS Unidos 9% – Indirectly controlled by American businessman Ralph Booth.

According to Article 45 of the law: License limit: 24(One per municipality, each of which may extend to neighboring localities of lesser population) / License limit: 10 AM & FM radio and broadcast TV licenses nationwide. Clarin exceeds the limit by one license. (Even if these limits are met, under no circumstance may a company or private individual exceed a reach of 35% of the nationwide population or its cable TV subscribers.) / License limit: 1 pay TV license, regardless of whether a broadcast TV, radio, or cable TV operator

Martin Sabbatella – President, AFSCA: What the government expects: The “procedure to comply” that was initiated before 7-D will be applied to Grupo Clarin, according to Martin Sabbatella, President of the AFSCA. This procedure involves taking inventory of all licenses, executing their appraisal, and preparing a call for bids for their sale to new licensees.

Hector Magnetto – CEO, Grupo Clarin: Company options; If the AFSCA moves forward with the compulsory procedure, the company plans to appeal to the courts, arguing that when the procedure was started, the law that applied to the group’s case was not yet in effect. It will ask to be granted the same period of time given to other media groups exceeding their license quota that have yet to comply with the measure.

Clarin, in pesos

According to a report submitted by Clarin to the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange in October 2012, Cablevision and Fibertel (the group’s pay TV services and Internet businesses) generate 89.9% of Clarin´s profits. Coming in a distant second, with 7.7% of the group’s profits, are the group’s print media holdings—its eponymous Clarin newspaper, along with La voz del interior, sports daily Olé, Muy, La Razón, and Los Andes newspapers; magazines Ñ, Genios, Elle, and Pymes, among others; and its Papel Prensa – Editorial Tinta Fresca printing companies.

 Source: Ámbito Financiero

 [ Graphic Translation] 


Multimedia Profits


Net Sales*

% of total

Net Earnings**

% of total

% Profits on Sales

Cable TV & Internet(Cablevision and Fibertel)






Printing & Publications(graphics media, Papel Prensa, publishing  & printing houses)






Content production & distribution(Radio & TV)






Digital content and other
















*In $ millions

**Before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization

Source: Grupo Clarin report submitted to the Buenos Aires Stock Market, October 2012


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