2 Publicis Hispanic Shops to Join Forces

Hispanic agency Conill Advertising is merging with fellow Publicis Groupe shop Bienestar LCG Communications in a union that will increase Conill’s billings by more than a third.

The merged entity, which will employ about 70 staffers, will operate under the Conill name.

New York-based Bienestar has limited strategic and creative resources, and Conill, which has offices in New York, Miami and Los Angeles, lacks the specialized healthcare-marketing services that Bienestar offers, said Conill managing director Cynthia McFarlane about the merger. “The key thing is how this bolsters our capabilities,” she said.

Client synergy was another motivation for the merger: Both shops work on Johnson & Johnson’s Tylenol brand. In addition, Bienestar handles marketing-services duties for J&J’s Motrin, Pepcid, Mylanta and Imodium. Last year, J&J ranked 15th among top ad spenders in the Hispanic market at about $25 million, according to Hispanic Business magazine.

Other Bienestar clients include Aventis, the University of Rochester and the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Conill’s client roster also includes Toyota and Procter & Gamble’s Tide, Pampers, Crest, Head & Shoulders, Sunny Delight, Olay and Old Spice brands.

“This combination will not only be extremely beneficial for current Bienestar clients but should also be attractive to many prospective pharmaceutical clients who have not yet seriously invested in the Hispanic market,” said Bienestar chairman Craig Scott, who will remain with the shop for a transitional period of about four months.

Bienestar, which opened in 1995, was a unit of Publicis’ Nelson Communications, a healthcare-communications subsidiary. Thirty-five-year-old Conill, the first Hispanic agency in the U.S., became part of the larger Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi network last year in a move designed to give the shop access to Nazca’s resources in Latin America.