Ms. Exposito-Ulla left her post as chairman-CEO of Bravo, a 100% WPP Group-owned agency that was until recently the biggest in the U.S. Hispanic market, in November 2004 after 23 years with the agency she joined as a creative director.
The agency, CMS Partners, is being renamed d.exposito & partners. Ms. Exposito-Ulla started working with the agency this spring with the title of chairman, and announced her acquisition of a majority stake today.
"When I left Bravo, I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do," said Ms. Exposito-Ulla, 54. "And I had some restrictive covenants, which have been over since November 2005."
Troubled Bravo agency
Her replacement at the troubled Bravo agency has already come and gone. Gary Bassell, hired away from independent Hispanic creative shop La Comunidad in Miami, joined Bravo a week after Ms. Exposito-Ulla left and tried to reinvent the agency. The exodus of clients and staff continued, and Mr. Bassell left abruptly in July 2006. Eddie Gonzalez, a Y&R veteran who started his career in his native Puerto Rico and worked for the network in Europe and Asia before becoming chairman-CEO of Y&R Latin America, took on Mr. Bassell's job in addition to his own Latin America role. There have been further layoffs since Mr. Bassell left.
At Ms. Exposito-Ulla's new agency, two other former Bravo execs are joining as partners: Mary Miqueli, former VP-general manager of Bravo's Miami office, and John Ross, who was Bravo's chief financial officer. CMS was started in July 2005 by Gloria Constanza, Bravo's longtime senior VP-director of media services, and Fernando Fernandez, an account director who was most recently senior VP-general manager of tiny Bravo multicultural sibling Mosaica.
Former Bravo team
All the partners are from Ms. Exposito's team at Bravo except her husband, Jorge Ulla, a filmmaker who is joining as chief creative officer.
The agency opened last year with business from Novartis Consumer Health Division, and now also works with McDonald's New York Tri-State Co-Op and General Electric Consumer Finance.