Largest Independent Hispanic Media-Buying Agency to CLose

Amistad Media Throws in Towel After 11 Years

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Amistad Media, the only sizeable independent U.S. Hispanic media-buying shop, is closing at the end of January after 11 years.
David Flynn Huerta, Amistad’s managing director, said 'New-business prospects dried up.'

$44 million
According to Advertising Age data, Austin, Texas-based Amistad would have been the 11th-biggest Hispanic media-buying specialist in 2005, with billings of about $44 million.

David Flynn Huerta, Amistad’s managing director, said, “We just had some things fall through and a set of circumstances put us behind. And new-business prospects dried up.”

He said one of Amistad’s oldest clients, Mexican soft-drink maker Novamex, had just confirmed it was staying with the agency after a review, and the shop still had a few small pieces of business but had lost the Hispanic media-buying accounts from the U.S. Army, among others.

Severance packages
Mr. Flynn said he chose to close the company now while Amistad (the Spanish word for “friendship”) can “meet all our obligations and give everyone a nice severance package.” He said the agency has six employees.

“Our business is very up and down and media-buying services have a very small margin,” he said. In the U.S. Hispanic market, media and creative accounts tend to move together, with few media-only pitches. Mr. Flynn said he had participated in only two media-only pitches in his 11 years in business.

Hispanic media-buying is dominated by Publicis Groupe’s multicultural media-buying unit Tapestry, and Hispanic ad agencies’ own media departments.

Formerly with GSD&M
Mr. Flynn said he is focusing on closing the agency now, and then will consider his options, including the possibility of another startup. Before Amistad, he was VP-director of Hispanic media at GSD&M, Austin.

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