Ornelas Recruits Creative Chief

Ogilvy Regional Director Puerto Succeeds Sandoval in Dallas
DALLAS–Ornelas & Associates has again gone international to fill a top position at the Dallas agency, hiring Gabriel Puerto as executive creative director.
Puerto, formerly Ogilvy & Mather’s regional creative director for Latin America and the Caribbean, was tapped to fill the post vacated by Tony Sandoval. Sandoval resigned last spring to work full-time in his hometown of Austin, Texas.
At Ogilvy in Miami, Puerto was responsible for creative work in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. American Express was his prime client, encompassing radio, print and television advertising.
“He oversaw all creative work for those countries,” said shop owner and president Victor Ornelas.
Puerto spent 13 years at agencies in his native Spain, moving up from junior copywriter at Saatchi & Saatchi in Madrid to become creative director at Bassat, Ogilvy & Mather from 1995-97. Puerto also has a background as a screenwriter and newspaper columnist in Spain.
“I was very, very interested,” said Puerto of the position. “Ornelas has produced an outstanding product through the years, in terms of rich new levels of advertising for Latin Americans.”
Puerto’s Bassat team won a 1996 Gold Lion at the International Advertising Festival in Cannes for Jaguar print work. He also worked at Grey Advertising, Casadevall Pedre„o and Grupo Prieto Comunicacion, all Madrid. Puerto went to Ogilvy’s Miami office in 1997.
Puerto’s hiring comes more than two months after Ornelas filled a new client services position with Mauro David Ravelo, an executive with a major agency background in Mexico City.
Puerto joins Ravelo as part of Ornelas’ newly assembled management team. Ravelo, a 14-year agency veteran, was hired in May after a career with BBDO Mexico and Ogilvy & Mather in Mexico City.
Sandoval was at Ornelas’ creative helm for three years. Although he resigned in April, Sandoval remained aboard until recently while Ornelas conducted his search. Sandoval was commuting weekly to North Texas from Austin.
Sandoval said at that time he wanted to pursue freelance Latino and general market advertising opportunities there.
Puerto arrives as Ornelas’ key Mobil Oil account has been put into review by the client. Ornelas said he is undecided whether he will defend the Fairfax, Va.-based account, estimated by sources at $5-10 million in annual billings.