Tapestry To Weave Itself Into N.Y. Fabric

With an eye toward increasing ties to sibling network MediaVest, Starcom MediaVest Group’s $600 million Tapestry unit, the nation’s largest multicultural media agency, is launching an office in New York.

MediaVest has added multicultural assignments from clients such as Coca-Cola, Masterfoods and Kraft during the past year, and saw a need to have Tapestry’s multicultural expertise “embedded” within the agency, said Monica Gadsby, CEO of Chicago-based Tapestry, which evolved from Starcom’s Hispanic media department. “Clearly, our heritage was within the Starcom side, and we needed to develop these capabilities for the MediaVest side as well,” she said.

The office, which opens this week with eight people, will initially focus on multicultural assignments for current clients, in particular Kraft Foods. Adriana Scalabrin, who has joined the New York outpost as managing director, said she hopes to start pitching new business by year’s end.

A native of Porto Alegre, Brazil, Scalabrin, 38, arrived at the Publicis Groupe agency from sibling Starcom Puerto Rico, where she was managing director. Before joining Starcom in 2001, Scalabrin was international media director at McCann Erickson in New York, handling the global Nestlé business. She also managed Coke’s $100 million account in Brazil for Universal McCann.

Scalabrin said that experience will help her get acclimated to the U.S. Hispanic market. “I became much more strategic in going international,” she said. “Having that experience opens up your mind to the differences between white America, black America and Hispanic America, and to the differences [within] Hispanic America.”

With an estimated $3 billion in spending, the Hispanic market has seen an increase in media specialists. For example, in March, Omnicom Group launched OMD Latino, and independent Viva Media launched in January.