As general-market agencies increasingly vie for Hispanic business, Richards Group is stepping up its game by hiring Aldo Quevedo as a principal and creative director at the agency's Hispanic practice Richards/Lerma. The move will be announced today.
Mr. Quevedo, one of the most respected, high-profile creatives in the Hispanic market, said a month ago that he wasleaving his job as president and chief creative officer of Omnicom Group's Dieste, the largest Hispanic agency, to seek new opportunities.
Until now, Richards/Lerma has probably been best known for wresting the Hispanic business for Home Depot, a Richards Group client, away from Hispanic agency Vidal Partnership in 2010. Richards/Lerma was started in 2008 by Pete Lerma, a Richards Group veteran who built up the agency's interactive marketing division Click Here. Until this year, Mr. Lerma split his time between running Click Here and Richards/Lerma, which so far has only handled Richards Group clients.
Richards/Lerma is No. 32 in the ranking of Hispanic ad agencies in Ad Age 's Hispanic Fact Pack, with 2011 revenue of $5.5 million.
"I wanted to be part of an independent agency," said Mr. Quevedo. Another attraction is the opportunity to work closely with founder Stan Richards, he said. After spending 17 years at Dieste, he also values the stability of Richards Group's long-serving senior executives and client base. Plus he'll be a partner at Richards/Lerma.
"And I get to stay in Dallas," he said.
Hiring Mr. Quevedo, who starts Jan. 2, is one of several moves Richards/Lerma is making, including a coming move out of Richards Group headquarters into its own space three blocks away.
In addition to 30 staffers in Dallas, Richards/Lerma opened a five-person Mexico City office about a year-and-a-half ago as the agency's U.S. Hispanic assignment for Chrysler Group's Ram Truck grew to include Mexico. In an unusual dual role, Ram Truck Brand's President-CEO Fred Diaz is also president-CEO of Chrysler de Mexico. Recently the agency started working with another Richards Group client, Bridgestone, in Latin America, Mr. Lerma said.
"From the beginning I thought there's an opportunity here partnering with the Richards Group [in the Hispanic market] but at some point we have to build clients outside the roster," Mr. Lerma said. "Winning Ram Trucks Mexico and Bridgestone Latin America was part of that —steps in becoming a more independent entity."
"The international reach of the work was very attractive to me," said Mr. Quevedo, who is originally from Mexico.
When he left Dieste, Mr. Quevedo was approached both by general market agencies that wanted to start a Hispanic practice, and by agencies in Mexico City interested in entering the U.S. Hispanic market.
"Everyone wants to be in the Hispanic market," he said.
Mr. Quevedo's job change doesn't affect his role at the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA), where he will take over as chairman in April 2013. Before that , Mr. Lerma said, Richards/Lerma will become an AHAA member.