Cartel Creativo Retains Penney

Begins Another Five-Year Term on $10-15 Mil. Hispanic Account
DALLAS–Cartel Creativo has retained the Hispanic advertising account of department store chain J.C. Penney, a move that could lead to a closer alliance with the retailer’s new general market agency, DDB Chicago.
San Antonio-based Cartel Creativo has held the $10-15 million Spanish-language account of J.C. Penney for five years.
The Hispanic portion was reviewed earlier this year at the same time the retailer held a review for its more than $200 million general market account. In that pitch, winning agency DDB teamed with Omnicom stablemate Dieste & Partners in Dallas, which had previously handled assignments for Penney’s Arizona Jeans. Finalist BBDO of New York said it teamed with another unnamed multicultural shop within Omnicom’s diversified agency services unit.
Cartel did not participate in the review.
“We will be continuing to handle J.C. Penney for North America . . . and we look forward to the next five years with them,” said Cartel president and director of strategic planning Victoria Varela Hudson, in confirming the assignment.
Cartel is expected to begin working closely with DDB Chicago, as Penney moves to streamline its supplier relationships at every level.
Cartel, the eighth-largest independently operated Hispanic agency in the U.S., recently received a supplier development award from J.C. Penney which honors minority and women-owned business associates.
Founded in 1995, the agency has $48 million in billings. Management includes Jesus Ramirez, executive creative director and partner, and Irma Woodruff, executive director of strategic outreach and new business. Woodruff is a former director of diversity marketing at SBC Communications.
The agency is participating in the U.S. Army review, teamed with Leo Burnett of Chicago, after its first partner, The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., withdrew.
“We were very pleased to be with an agency we respected a lot and were very disappointed when they chose not to continue,” said Hudson. “However, we’re very excited to be partnering with another agency which we hold in the highest esteem.”
Other Cartel clients include Labatt USA and Liberty Media Corp. K