Texas Eyes on Mexico

DALLAS-The Mexico Ministry of Tourism is preparing to launch a mandatory review of its estimated $10 million advertising account. The business is currently handled by Noble/D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles in Mexico City.
Carlos Hernandez, director of promotions for the ministry, is expected to formally launch the review in October, though undisclosed shops in Texas and California are already gearing up for the pitch. Hernandez could not be reached at press time.
A timetable has not been established for the process, but sources expect a request for bids to be issued next month, with a decision reached in December.
Noble/DMB&B was initially awarded the account in 1995 and successfully repitched the contract, which now runs for two years. Its contract expires in December.
Santiago Hinojosa, managing director at Noble/DMB&B, said his shop plans to defend the account.
Hinojosa said Noble/DMB&B created the current tag, “Mexico. An endless journey.” The shop develops print and television ads airing in feeder markets in the U.S. and Canada. Hinojosa said those markets include New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and various Texas cities.
Hinojosa said having a Mexico City office has not been a requirement in past pitches but added, “It’s obviously an advantage in handling the day-to-day operations.”
The account, which has exceeded $20 million in the past, is currently valued at $10 million, according to Hinojosa. Also set for separate reviews are the direct and public relations portions of the business.
Shops pitching the account when it was last put up for bid in 1995 included J. Walter Thompson and McCann-Erickson, both in Mexico City. The ministry has also worked with smaller agencies, including The Atkins Agency, San Antonio, for specific destination efforts. -with Glen Fest