Hershey Taps First Latino Shop

Dieste & Partners has won the initial Hispanic advertising account of 106-year-old chocolatier Hershey Foods.

A market leader in the U.S. candy business, Hershey has until now lagged behind other confectioners in targeting the Hispanic market. M&M/Mars, for example, has been targeting Latino consumers with Spanish-language ads for selected brands such as Skittles and Snickers for at least 10 years.

Competitive reasons, however, were not the biggest factor for the Hershey, Pa.-based company’s selection of a Hispanic agency, said Dieste president Tony Dieste.

“They’re looking at it more from a developmental standpoint,” Dieste said. “They have some of the top brands in the country and they basically want to franchise the Hispanic market just like they would the kid market or the teen market. More brand development obviously translates into more sales for them.”

Hershey conducted a national review involving seven agencies. The finalists were Dieste, The Bravo Group of New York and Mendoza, Dillon & Asociados in Newport Beach, Calif.

Dieste managing partner Warren Harmel noted that it was the first agency review that Hershey has held since adding DDB Worldwide in New York in 1979. “For them to go out and look for an agency was a very big step,” Harmel said.

In a statement, Hershey vice president of marketing Bob Fisher said: “Our product line and marketing efforts have changed to meet the demands and diversity of our consumers. The Hispanic market is growing and we have enlisted the expertise of Dieste to better reach this important consumer group.”

Billings were not disclosed.

Dieste expects initial assignments to include work for the client’s Hershey Bar, Hershey’s Kisses and Kit-Kat.

The Dallas shop also recently won the U.S. Air Force’s recruitment ad account in tandem with GSD&M in Austin, Texas.