Levenson, Legion Share Their Specialties

NEW YORK Levenson & Hill has partnered with Hispanic shop Legion Advertising to provide general-market and Latino advertising services for all their clients, the agencies said.

Among other brands, the partnership will serve Fort Worth, Texas-based Bimbo Bakeries USA, the American unit of Mexican food giant Grupo Bimbo. Legion of Arlington, Texas, has been the Hispanic agency for Bimbo since 2000, handling creative and strategic marketing planning for the company’s U.S. Hispanic efforts. The agency’s responsibilities include the promotion of all of Bimbo’s imported brands, including Bimbo bread, Marinela snack cakes and Tia Rosa tortillas.

Legion, which reported 2004 billings of $8 million, has done general-market creative work for selected clients, but unlike Levenson, it does not have media buying experience. Under the new partnership, both agencies will handle all advertising, including media planning and buying, a critical element in attaining integrated results for Bimbo Bakeries USA, the companies said.

Los Angeles-based al Punto previously handled Bimbo’s Hispanic media buying, according to Legion.

Levenson, an independent Dallas shop whose clients include Church’s Chicken and Warner Bros., claimed 2004 billings of $75 million.

While Levenson gains Bimbo as a client, Legion has started pitching Hispanic campaigns to some of Levenson’s clients, such as Gordon’s Jewelers, a division of Zales Jewelers.

“We are indoctrinating at the moment some of Levenson’s clients about the Hispanic market, but we haven’t begun Hispanic work for these clients yet,” said Isaac Lasky, senior vice president of Legion.

The partnership will allow both shops to expand their respective client rosters, but it is not a legal merger. “[We] will maintain our distinct legal identities,” Lasky said.

“Anyone who fails to take the Hispanic community into consideration when developing [general-market] marketing plans simply isn’t keeping up with what’s happening today,” said Barbara Levenson, president and CEO of Levenson & Hill.