The agency was a department of Havas-owned Euro RSCG's New York office until a re-launch in January. Now the Hispanic shop is run by CEO Gustavo Razzetti, a longtime Euro RSCG exec from Argentina who most recently re-launched the agency in Puerto Rico and moved to New York in December from San Juan.
The other four contenders in the review were Publicis Groupe-owned agencies Conill, New York, and Lapiz, Chicago, and independents La Comunidad and Zubi Advertising, both Miami. The incumbent, Vidal Partnership, New York, did not re-pitch. No consultant was involved, Mr. Razzetti said. The review, following several years of award-winning work by Vidal, was prompted by management changes at DirecTV.
DirecTV has cut its U.S. Hispanic spending, to $14.1 million in 2006 from $23.3 million in 2005, according to TNS Media Intelligence.
Several executives involved in the review said DirecTV told them the satellite TV provider had decided to go with an agency in New York, where DirecTV execs such as Mercy Lugo-Struthers, who joined DirecTV in October 2006 as director of Hispanic marketing from a similar position at AOL Latino, are based. John De Armas, who oversees international and the U.S. Hispanic market but not the U.S. general market as DirecTV's president-international, was also involved in the review.
Ad Age rankings
Before the January re-launch, Euro RSCG Latino was No. 36 in Advertising Age's ranking of U.S. Hispanic agencies, with estimated 2006 revenue of $4.2 million. The agency grew by just 5% last year, when double-digit growth among Hispanic agencies was more common.
In an unusual structure for a U.S. Hispanic agency, Mr. Razzetti reports to Euro RSCG's CEO for Latin America, Ricardo Monteiro, who is based in Buenos Aires. Mr. Razzetti joined Euro RSCG in 2001, when the company bought Whynet, the interactive agency he started in Buenos Aires. He later became CEO of Euro RSCG Puerto Rico.
He said the U.S. Hispanic agency, with about 30 staffers, will also work closely with Euro's agencies in Puerto Rico, Mexico and Argentina. The Walgreens account, for instance, is shared with the Puerto Rico office, and the Mexico office is helping on another client's U.S. Hispanic project, he said.
Mr. Razzetti said the DirecTV campaign will begin in April, using creative and strategy presented by Euro RSCG Latino in the print. The scope of the campaign includes TV, radio, print, out-of-home, interactive and direct marketing, he said. Media planning and buying will be handled by Havas sibling MPG Diversity, New York.
DirecTV execs were in meetings and did not return phone calls. The company's general market agency, Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch, wasn't affected by the Hispanic review.