What: Erik Castillo has been promoted president, Latin America at Xaxis.
Why it matters: Castillo replaces Lucas Mentasti who left the company to become the President of [M]Platform, Latam at GroupM Worldwide Inc last December.

2d22a9cXaxis, the programmatic media and technology platform, announced the promotion of Erik Castillo to president, Latin America. Previously serving as market director, Latin America, Castillo will be responsible for guiding company operations across the region with a focus on client development, product innovation and driving growth for the company’s recently acquired digital retail unit, Triad Retail Media.  He will also lead the continuing expansion of the company’s fast-growing direct client business.

descarga-8Although their positions are different, Castillo is replacing Lucas Mentasti who left the company to become the President of [M]Platform, Latam at GroupM Worldwide Inc.

The fourth employee of Xaxis Latin America, Castillo has played a key role in the growth of Xaxis across the region in markets including Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Uruguay and Puerto Rico.  As market director, Latin America he managed operations across multiple offices, provided strategic guidance to global advertisers on their programmatic strategies and helped build the Latin America business to more than 250 clients while doubling revenue every year.

“Erik has been a phenomenal evangelist for the programmatic industry in Latin America, helping to significantly expand adoption of audience-based media buying among the region’s largest advertisers,” said Nicolas Bidon, global president of Xaxis. “I would like to congratulate him on his new role and look forward to his continued leadership in growing the Xaxis business across Latin America.”

Prior to Xaxis, Castillo was regional digital director at Starcom Mediavest. In this role, he managed a digital hub of 27 employees based in Argentina dedicated to digital strategy for P&G.  This included helping P&G in the development and growth of the company’s internal programmatic platform and leading a significant expansion of P&G’s digital spend in the Latin America market. Prior to Starcom, Castillo held leadership roles at IAB in Peru and with DirecTV. Castillo received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Lima and holds a master’s degree in online marketing from the University of Barcelona.

“Xaxis has set the standard for programmatic in Latin America, providing unmatched capability, performance and accountability in helping marketers connect with consumers wherever they access media,” said Castillo.  “I am excited for the opportunity to lead our talented Latin America team as we expand our footprint in the region, working with brands, media owners and e-commerce companies to enhance the overall digital experience.”

What: WPP’S global programmatic media and technology platform Xaxis has acquired Triad Retail Media, a leading digital retail media specialist in the US.
Why it matters: Triad Retail Media recently launched a Hispanic owned ad network.

squarelogo_200x200_twitter_400x400 xc6ntqpv_400x400WPP’s wholly-owned operating company Xaxis, the global programmatic media and technology platform, has acquired Triad Retail Media, a leading digital retail media specialist in the US. The acquisition is  still subjected to regulatory approval.

Triad manages and delivers creative, data and production digital media advertising campaigns to connect with shoppers at point-of-sale. Major global retail partners include Walmart, eBay, Toys”R”Us, CVS, Sam’s Club, Staples, Kohl’s, Asda and more than 1,500 of the world’s largest advertisers.Triad’s gross revenues were over US$500 million for the year ended December 31, 2015 with net revenues of over US$120 million as of the same date. The company employs nearly 700 people. It is based in St. Petersburg, FL with offices in London, Sydney, Hamburg, Amsterdam and ten other markets. It was founded in 2004.

The deal will establish Xaxis as a significant player in the fast-growing retail media and e-commerce market while providing Triad with access to Xaxis’ technology expertise and the resources and client base of WPP.

The acquisition continues WPP’s strategy of focusing on three key areas that differentiate the Group’s offering to clients: technology, data and content. WPP’s digital assets include companies such as Acceleration (marketing technology consultancy), Cognifide (content management technology), Conexance (data cooperative), Salmon (e-commerce), and Hogarth (digital production technology). WPP also has investments in a number of innovative technology services companies such as Globant, Mutual Mobile and Polestar (a specialist Alibaba ecommerce company in China), as well as ad technology companies such as AppNexus, comScore (data investment management), eCommera, DOMO, mySupermarket and Percolate.

The deal will establish Xaxis as a significant player in the fast-growing retail media and e-commerce market

The Group has invested in digital content companies like Russell Simmons’ All Def Digital, Fullscreen, Indigenous Media, Imagina (a content rights and media company based in Spain), MRC, Refinery29, VICE and Woven Digital. WPP’s roster of wholly owned digital agencies include AKQA, Blue State Digital, F.biz, Mirum, OgilvyOne, POSSIBLE, Rockfish, VML and Wunderman. In 2015, the Group acquired a majority stake in Essence, the global digital agency and the largest independent buyer of digital media.

WPP’s digital revenues were over US$7 billion in 2015, representing 37% of the Group’s total revenues of US$19 billion. WPP has set a target of 40-45% of revenue to be derived from digital in the next five years. In North America, WPP companies (including associates) collectively generate revenues of over US$7 billion and employ over 28,000 people.

“Through this partnership, we have been able to accelerate our growth, expand internationally and position Triad as the global leader in digital retail media,” said Roger Berdusco, CEO of Triad Retail Media.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

@TriadRetail @Xaxistweets

descarga (6)Portada interviewed Lucas Mentasti, who recently was promoted to CEO Latin America by Xaxis. Portada interviewed him to ask him about how he sees Xaxis’ development in Latin America and the growth of the LatAm programmatic space in general.

Portada: What are the opportunities  for Xaxis in Latin America?

“On the advertisers side, there is an appetite for real, measurable outcomes and not just media delivery. With Xaxis’ help, clients get better at defining and measuring objectives, and ultimately, reducing waste. This is both at a performance level – where clients measure activities on their websites (the travel industry is an excellent example) – and at a branding level, where, by integrating with TV usage data, we can target evasive cord cutters.

On the publisher side, the LatAm media market seems to be divided between  super premium take over formats and a low-end, non-verified and non-targeted remnant inventory. We are creating a space in the middle, building media products with verified and targeted ads, supported by our own technology; thus, we will be adding value to publishers and driving their income up.”

Publishers need to invest in technology and people to be able to sell programmatically

Portada: It is said that trading desks charge an “outrageous” spread making trading desks very inefficient. What do you have to say on that?

“I believe the rumors around agency trading desks are completely overstated. I would imagine those who simply mark up media (or ad networks) without adding value could have gained significant margins over a short period of time. We have also seen significant margins reported from public companies positioned as advertising technologies (like retargeting specialists or DSPs). This is not the Xaxis business model.
At Xaxis, since day one, we have said we are neither a trade desk nor an agency. We are the world’s largest programmatic audience company.  We have over 1,500 employees, (260 are engineers), invest over US $50 million annually in our platforms, make forward commitments and take risk on nearly 90 percent of our media.  Our number one priority is to provide advantage to our clients.
With our business, it is simple. If we perform, we help our clients drive their objectives and we keep working.”

Portada: Does publisher direct media buying still make sense in these times?

“If we use technology and data to add value, then yes – most definitely. Data management platforms (DMPs) like Turbine allow advertisers to reach only the desired audience, and not the overall audience. For example, an advertiser can reach only online newspaper browsers that have shown a previous interest in cars, and not to the rest.
Publishers need to invest in technology (and people) to be able to sell programmatically. As impressions become more valuable, eCPMs will likely to go up.”

Portada: What offices are you opening in Latin  America, and which markets do you think have the most potential?

“In programmatic, scale is everything; you need scale for technology and talent investment.  Mexico is probably the biggest and most advanced market. That’s why we started Xaxis LatAm operations in Mexico in 2013. We will open Peru by the end of 2016, and Chile and Uruguay early next year. These markets are in the early stages in development of programmatic and audience planning, so we will probably have the opportunity to leap-frog more advanced markets.”


Check out: More on the evolution of programmatic in Latin America;
Programmatic with a Latin Twist: What’s New
Are Latin Publishers adopting Header Bidding: Is the Glass half-full or half empty

What: Programmatic audience company Xaxis announced the promotion of Lucas Mentasti to CEO, Latin America.
Why it matters: Mentasti is promoted from previous role as managing director, Latin America, where he grew business from inception to more than 250 clients across the region.

Programmatic audience company Xaxis announced the promotion of Lucas Mentasti to CEO, Latin America. Mentasti was previously managing director, Latin America and the first employee dedicated to the region. In this role, he successfully launched Xaxis operations in Miami, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Puerto Rico, building the Latin America business to more than 250 clients while doubling revenue each year.

Additional highlights under Mentasti’s leadership include launching the region’s first fully-featured audience buying platform, introducing lookalike modelling capabilities to the market, and growing the Latin America team from a single employee to a staff of 40. More recently, Xaxis Latin America has rolled out its industry-leading Light TV product, which allows TV advertisers to effectively reach the growing universe of “cord cutters” who are difficult to connect with via traditional television buys. In addition to its existing Latin America locations, Xaxis will open offices in Peru, Chile and Uruguay in 2017.

Prior to Xaxis, Mentasti served as vice president, digital director for Latin America at Starcom MediaVest, where he was in charge of digital products for all company clients in the region. Previous experience includes positions at Havas and DDB in his native Argentina. Mentasti began his career at Boston Consulting Group doing analysis for telecommunications, financial services and heavy industry projects. He received his B.A. in Business Economics from Universidad Torcuato di Tella and M.S. degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University.

“Latin America is one of our fastest growing markets and Lucas has played a key role in establishing Xaxis as the region’s most capable and effective partner for audience-based media buying,” said Xaxis global CEO, Brian Gleason. “He has done a superlative job in driving increased adoption of programmatic among the region’s largest advertisers and we look forward to his leadership as we continue to grow our footprint and capabilities in Latin America.”

“Programmatic in Latin America is growing at a furious pace as major advertisers continue to expand the role of audience-based media buying within their overall spend,” said Mentasti. “The response to Xaxis over the past three years has been enormous as advertisers have seen the jump in performance we are able to deliver in support of their country and region-wide campaigns. I am excited for this new opportunity as we take Xaxis Latin America to the next phase in its development.”

What: WPP’s Xaxis has launched a pay-for-performance media model called Light Reaction.
Why it matters: As performance marketing currently assumes about 10% of Xaxis’ more than US$700 million business, the new business is expected to outmatch its other revenue streams.

PPyIk0Nu_400x400WPP’s Xaxis has launched a pay-for-performance media model called Light Reaction.The new mobile-first performance advertising business will be rolled out across 20 markets across North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.The company expects the new unit to outmatch its other revenue streams.

Light Reaction will be led by general manager Paul Dolan, who previously served as executive vice president, general manager, performance marketing at Xaxis.The new business aims to  guarantee pricing, bound customer outcomes such as sales, leads and downloads.

“We’ve developed a model for performance marketing that allows brands to meet precise objectives of customer response while drawing a direct line between ads and results,” said Dolan.

“We see this part of the business growing as rapidly if not more than the business we already built within Xaxis,” said Xaxis CEO Brian Lesser.

One example of work Light Reaction has done is German retailer Walbusch, where it was tasked with the specific outcome of driving new customer sales. Light Reaction’s campaign increased new customer sales by 17 %, while decreasing new customer acquisition costs by 8%. According to the agency, this was under Light Reaction’s pay-for-performance model and the client only paid for directly attributed new customer sales.

Light Reaction’s platform was created after Xaxis’ acquisition of ActionX combined with GroupM’s QUISMA tool and Xaxis’ own Turbine.

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Last year Audience Buying Company Xaxis, a unit of Group M (WPP), announced the launch of operations in Latin America in order to bring Data-driven audience buying to Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and 5 other markets. Portada interviewed Lucas Mentasti, Managing Director, Latin America of Xaxis to hear about his operation has been progressing.

To what extent does Latin American Audience Buying facilitate panregional media buying from one point?
Lucas Mentasti, Managing Director, XaxisLucas Mentasti, Managing Director, Latin America, Xaxis : “From a technology standpoint, audience buying is definitely moving the industry towards a single source solution for pan-regional media buying. The technology and data platforms we have developed are global, which provides economies of scale and allows for integrated multi-national campaigns. However, while the tech resources are centralized, the human part of the equation – the ability to most effectively harness global tools for specific markets – is not. The in-market audience experts play a vital role in ensuring we get the best results in every market we operate in.”


What percentage of digital media buying is currently done through a programmatic trading in Latin America? What % do you expect for 2014?
L.M.:  “If we do not consider self-service platforms from Google and Facebook as pure programmatic, our estimates are that between 5% and 10% of big advertisers’ budgets were bought programmatically in 2013. For this year, we expect that number to grow to 15% to 20%. Mexico seems to be taking the lead, with Brazil and Argentina being close behind.”

How do the acquisitions of 24/7 Media, Crystal Semantics and Bannerconnect impact the way Xaxis works in Latin America?
L.M.: “Xaxis is the leading programmatic media and technology company in the world. We have developed and partnered with leading technology companies to create this leading platform. Additionally, we work closely with leading publishers to provide the largest, premium environment in which to execute campaigns for our advertisers. This requires scale and swiftness. Our merger with 24/7 Media provides both of these with an added level of technology development resources and proprietary digital capabilities. The new Xaxis development team will play a key role as we continue to refine and enhance the capabilities of the industry-leading Xaxis Data Management Platform (DMP). Crystal Semantics brings us additional proprietary technology that can match advertising to the meaning of a web page. Using it, Xaxis can better direct ads to appear in relevant context while providing leading brand safety solutions. At the same time, this same technology matches the users to the meaning of the content they are consuming, building the audience portraits we use to target the ads of our clients.”

Mexico is big enough to attract the attention of global marketing departments that define the vision and objectives for the local initiatives. This leads to shorter adaptation time windows between a global decision and local implementation.

Which of the Latin American countries is most developed when it comes to programmatic trading and why?L.M.:  “Mexico, Brazil and Argentina lead the way in terms of innovation and technology adoption. Mexico is generally the easiest market for US-based companies to access because of the closer economic integration between Mexico and the US. Also, Mexico is big enough to attract the attention of global marketing departments that define the vision and objectives for the local initiatives. This leads to shorter adaptation time windows between a global decision and local implementation.”

Portada: Which one is the least and why?
L.M.: “You need a certain scale to operate in the programmatic space, both from the demand side (advertisers, agencies) and the supply side (the publishers). There are human resources investments to be made in the agencies and strong, fixed technology developments to be made from the publisher side.The small countries of Latin America probably don’t have the scale to make this investment profitable in the short run. We are seeing consortiums of local publishers (local newspapers are a classic example) working together to enter the programmatic world, but alignment takes time and effort.”

Portada: What brands have already embraced programmatic trading to reach their Latin American target audiences?
L.M.: “Brands that have strong (and global) measurement systems are the ones that were first to migrate to programmatic. Programmatic outperforms traditional planning in most variables, both for branding and Direct Response. Thus, consistent and detailed scorecard system lead to a bigger adoption of programmatic. Big multinational consumer good products are leading this space. Also, companies that have a measuring component in their DNA, like dot coms or financial institutions have already tested and adopted this space. Mercado Libre and Despegar have always pioneered in this area. American Express is another good example.”