Marketers ‘De-silo’ Hispanic Media

NEW YORK ROI issues have Hispanic-targeting marketers increasingly turning to general market media specialists to plan and execute their ad buys.

Like the general ad market, where most major clients have shifted to media shops for planning and buying services over the past 15 years, marketers targeting Hispanics are looking for better planning tools and stronger leverage when purchasing ads, executives said.

The latest evidence of the trend was last week’s decision by Heineken USA to award Publicis Groupe’s MediaVest its Hispanic media buying and planning duties. Heineken USA spent $8 million on Hispanic media in 2006, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Those chores had been performed by The Vidal Partnership, which continues to handle Hispanic creative for Heineken.

And earlier this year, Wal-Mart shifted its estimated $60 million Hispanic media account to MediaVest from Houston-based Lopez Negrete.

Last year WPP Group essentially transformed The Bravo Group, its full-service Hispanic shop, into a creative specialist by shifting the estimated $150 million in media chores it had handled to a new division at Mediaedge:cia called MEC Bravo. Heineken’s selection of MediaVest consolidates Heineken’s Hispanic buying and planning with its general market media account, also handled by the shop. The account will be supported by MediaVest’s multicultural in-house agency, MediaVest 42 Degrees.

Commenting on the shift, Andrew Glaser, brand director at Heineken USA, said, “We believe we can realize some efficiencies from that kind of consolidation. That’s really the play.”

Glaser noted that the beer marketer had switched media duties on its Tecate label to MediaVest last year from Vidal and “saw very good results from a planning and buying standpoint. So when we go to market we have a little bit more clout as a cohesive group.” Calls to Vidal were not returned.

At MEC Bravo, managing director Gonzalo Del Fa said the shift in media duties from Bravo to MEC provides clients with better research and planning tools as well as “increased leverage at the time of negotiations.” Clients, including Cingular and Payless, also like the approach because it “de-silos” the planning and buying for Hispanic, said Del Fa, and integrates it into the general market process, “so we go back to the client with one full plan combining both.”

However, Cynthia McFarlane, evp, managing director at Hispanic shop Conill, a unit of Publicis Groupe’s Saachi & Saachi, said that leverage only goes so far and that “at the end of the day the client is going to go after who has the better creative product and who has a better understanding of the market.”

Bill Pascador, svp, group client director who runs the Heineken account for Starcom MediaVest Group, said the integrated approach is a better strategy: “We look at consumers as a whole instead of as individual silos.”

MediaVest won Wal-Mart’s $570 million general market media and Hispanic accounts. The agency declined to discuss the Hispanic win, referring calls to Wal-Mart.

Commenting on the shift of its Hispanic media account, a Wal-Mart rep said, “MediaVest has a dedicated multicultural team helping to ensure a more integrated approach to our planning and buying.”

Alex Lopez Negrete, CEO at Lopez Negrete, could not be reached for comment.