MDC, Doner Launch Multicultural Shop Cultura United Agency

Holding Company Hasn't Been a Player in U.S. Hispanic Market

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Anita Albán Gastelum
Anita Albán Gastelum

Two weeks after Omnicom's GSD&M and LatinWorks partnered to launch Hispanic agency Sibling, MDC Partners is making its own move, setting up Cultura United Agency with Doner, another MDC shop.

MDC is positioning Cultura as a "cross-disciplinary marketing firm uniting specialized full-service advertising and public relations expertise with deep insights across Hispanic, African American and Asian audiences," according to a statement.

JC Penney is a Doner client in the general market, which will lead to some related Spanish-language work for the new unit. Independent shop Grupo Gallegos remains JC Penney's Hispanic agency of record. Cultura, which will have 10 people and be based in Los Angeles, will also work with cosmetics company Jafra, a recent Doner win.

MDC hasn't been a player in the U.S. Hispanic market. No MDC-owned agencies reported Hispanic revenue in Ad Age's 2015 Agency Report. MDC's KBS had a Hispanic unit called Ramona for a while, but it closed in 2012 after losing its only significant client, Tecate. MDC's CP&B briefly convinced then-client Burger King to let it handle the fast feeder's Hispanic business, and then lost the whole account.

But general market agencies remain eager to try to capture their existing clients' Hispanic spending, too. To lead Cultura United Agency, the company is hiring Anita Albán Gastelum, a former VP of Axis Agency, a 50-person Interpublic-owned company that describes itself as a "culture movement marketing agency."

"No matter what your business, success depends on developing smart, authentic and culturally attuned relationships with the multicultural consumer," said Miles Nadal, president and CEO of MDC Partners, in a statement. "Marketers can no longer deny that today's consumer audience is a multicultural one, and Cultura United Agency's understanding of the trends driving purchasing decisions allows brands to extend the reach of their communications, generate new revenue streams, and deliver greater return on marketing investment."

"Cultura United Agency is designed to help brands create relevance and achieve authenticity in the real world with an inclusive and interconnected approach that closely aligns brands with culture," said Ms. Gastelum in a statement.

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