NEW YORK Rick Marroquin has joined Interpublic's Mediabrands as managing director to head a new business unit focusing on Hispanic and multicultural media and marketing.
Marroquin is tasked with building a department to service the needs of clients at Initiative and Universal McCann, the two big IPG shops overseen by Mediabrands.
Currently, those duties are handled on an as-needed basis by the agencies, often working with outside specialty firms. Neither shop currently has a dedicated multicultural practice, but combined they place an estimated $300-400 million in Hispanic ads for clients such as Initiative's Home Depot and UM's Sony.
Mediabrands said it was developing the unit to take advantage of the growth opportunities afforded by the $900 billion that U.S. Hispanics spend on consumer goods and services.
"Rick's passion, unique cultural reference and fantastic blend of client, publisher and agency-side experience will allow him to create a forward-thinking discipline that is rooted in a deep level of consumer understanding, multicultural insights and true marketing innovation," said Mediabrands CEO Nick Brien in a statement. "There is an unbelievable amount of potential for ground-breaking innovation in the Hispanic marketplace."
A 12-year multicultural marketing veteran, Marroquin was most recently chief marketing officer at Batanga Inc., a media company dedicated to the U.S. Hispanic audience. Prior to that, he was director of marketing, U.S. Hispanic at McDonald's.
Said Marroquin: "Marketing to ethnic consumers continues to receive less attention than it deserves from the broader marketing industry and there is significant opportunity to deliver true marketing innovation in the U.S. Hispanic marketplace. The Hispanic consumer is ready, willing and eager for new ways of connecting with brands and willing to participate in forums that are relevant, engaging and informative to them. I accepted this role to motivate a behavior change and inspire curiosity in the Hispanic market."