Verizon Wireless Taps Latinvox

NEW YORK Following a three-month review, Verizon Wireless said it has appointed Latinvox here as its Hispanic agency for the Northeast region, which includes 12 states from Maine to Virginia.

The shop’s duties will encompass advertising, promotions, grass-roots efforts, direct marketing, public relations and media planning and buying, the client said.

Since 2002, the account has been handled by Pasadena, Calif.-based la gente de RLR, which will continue to be Verizon Wireless’ agency for the West and Midwest regions.

The growing Hispanic market and wireless carrier’s penetration among Hispanics in the area drove the company’s division to choose an agency based in the Northeast. “We realized that it made a lot of sense [to hire an agency in the Northeast] for a series of logistical reasons,” said Verizon Wireless representative Howard Waterman. “Latinvox is going to be our first agency of record in the Northeast region.”

The review, which began with seven participating agencies, took longer than anticipated. The finalists were New York-based winglatino and Siboney USA, with offices both in New York and Miami. Verizon Wireless’ procurement department in California handled the process. “The review was incredibly well managed,” said Roberto Ramos, president and CEO at Latinvox.

Verizon Wireless did not disclose the budget for the first campaign to be developed by Latinvox, which is expected to break later this year, but the media investment is going to be “significant, in the millions,” said Waterman.

According to Nielsen Monitor-Plus, Verizon Wireless through May of this year has spent more than $23 million in Spanish-language media nationwide, compared to $15 million during the same period in 2004.

Southfield, Mich.-based GlobalHue handles national Hispanic advertising for Verizon Wireless, while Viva Partnership in Miami handles the South.