By Trevor Jensen
CHICAGO--Hernandez & Garcia's project work over the past year for Ameritech convinced the telecommunications company to award the shop stewardship of its Hispanic target account.
The business had been at Castor Advertising Corp. in New York, but that agency's distance from Ameritech's Chicago headquarters was one factor in the decision to move to a nearby shop, said Elena Towles, director of target marketing for Ameritech. Hernandez & Garcia is based in Lincolnwood, Ill., just north of Chicago.
'Their work was good, so we just went with them,' Towles said. 'The work they have done has been fantastic.'
Towles declined to discuss billings, other than to say they would be 'driven by the business.' Ameritech is in the process of a review to consolidate its residential, corporate, business and long-distance accounts, with spending estimated at $100 million.
The agency's work with Ameritech started with projects connected with Ameritech's sponsorship of last year's Democratic National Convention in Chicago, said Margarita Garcia, agency president. The relationship continued with work during various Hispanic festivals and events, leading to the assignment last week, Garcia said.
'They've seen we do know the market and are on very good terms with the Hispanic media,' Garcia said.
Hernandez & Garcia is a 15-year-old shop owned by two Hispanic women. It claims annual billings of about $2 million.
A large portion of the shop's business is in public relations. Other clients include Chicago area Coca-Cola bottlers, for which the agency does public relations and media buying; the Illinois Lottery, public relations and media buys; and the University of Illinois at Chicago's Medical Center, public relations and creative.
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