CEO of Casanova//McCann Buys Agency From IPG

Ingrid Otero-Smart has led the multicultural shop for 12 years

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Ingrid Otero-Smart said the acquisition gives the agency 'freedom to make decisions that are right for us.' Casanova McCann
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IPG is continuing to shed agencies.

Ingrid Otero-Smart, the president and CEO of Casanova//McCann, has bought a majority stake in the Hispanic and multicultural agency. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and it’s unclear how much she owns.

IPG acquired the agency in 1999, and Otero-Smart joined in 2008 as president and CEO, back when it was known as Casanova Pendrill. The agency, which sits within IPG’s McCann Worldgroup network, rebranded to Casanova//McCann in 2016.

The shop will remain part of McCann Worldgroup as an affiliated agency partner, according to the IPG.

“I have worked with Ingrid for many years, she is one of the most successful and influential agency leaders in the Worldgroup network,” Harris Diamond, chairman and CEO of McCann Worldgroup, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to watch Ingrid take this opportunity to grow and expand the agency she built across all marketing boundaries.”

The acquisition marks IPG’s latest agency sale. Earlier this year, the founder and chairman of Atlanta-based Fitzgerald & Co bought the agency back from IPG. In 2017, TM Advertising—which has since closed its doors—and Dailey completed buybacks.  

Casanova//McCann has been the most awarded Hispanic at agency at Cannes Lions two years in a row, according to data from Circulo Creativo, an organization dedicated to supporting creativity in the U.S. Hispanic advertising market.

Recent work that’s come out of the agency includes “Second Chances,” a campaign for nonprofit Donate Life involved letting drivers off the hook for minor traffic violations if they could prove they’re organ donors. In 2018, Casanova//McCann won some of Nestlé’s business following a review, although it’s not clear if the agency still works with the company.

The agency is headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif. and has offices in New York and Detroit.

“This is the right time for us to take control of our future and make a bigger impact in the advertising marketplace,” Otero-Smart said in a statement. “This gives us the freedom to make decisions that are right for us. After almost two decades at McCann, it is a dream for me to take Casanova to the next level, to run a world-class agency that is owned by a Latina, and to have the creative and business opportunities of an independent agency.”


@Minda_Smiley minda.smiley@adweek.com Minda Smiley is an agencies reporter at Adweek.
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