PMM Opens Doors in L.A.

NEW YORK Ana Lydia Ochoa has launched her full-service agency, Padma Media & Marketing in Los Angeles.

“I’m scared, excited and hopeful all at the same time,” she said.

Until September, Ochoa had worked for RL Public Relations + Marketing in its flagship L.A. office on the Sears account and other business. But the Mexican-American marketing and PR veteran wanted to take her work as an account supervisor a step further and concentrate on what she considers the attributes of her own generation: bilingual, professional and affluent trendsetters.

“A lot of the [Hispanic] agencies opened business in niche areas, but there’s just a need to do something else,” she said. “The general market still can’t reach out to them. Traditional isn’t reaching out to someone like me.”

Ochoa is not the only Hispanic executive branching out. Rosa Alonso, also a longtime expert in Hispanic media and marketing, resigned last month as svp at Edelman Multicultural in New York to launch her own self-funded Latino venture. She also hopes to target bicultural, acculturated U.S. Hispanics.

PMM’s first client, Americas United Bank, is California’s first Hispanic-owned and operated bank to open its doors in the state in 30 years, Ochoa said.

With more than 10 years of experience, Ochoa will parlay her expertise into other areas such as consumer, fashion, beauty and entertainment. She has taken a page from her early years while still in school when she worked in retail, and she would “walk the market” to learn a little bit more about the customers. Today’s Hispanic marketplace cannot be found in the same places as yesteryear, she noted. “It’s not the East L.A.’s, not the Huntington Parks. It’s West L.A., which is the hub of lots of residents from Oaxaca [Mexico],” she said.

Ochoa said there’s a whole area that remains untapped for Latinos in the more affluent, more holistic and more organic environs, pointing to the number of Hispanics she has seen at Whole Foods supermarkets, at REI’s chain of outdoors goods stores and at Jamba Juice stores, companies she hopes to tap.