Machada Garcia and IAC Seek New Position in Vibrant Market

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NEW YORK ( -- A year-old Hispanic agency, Miami-based Machado Garcia-Serra Publicidad, is accelerating its growth by merging with another Latin shop, IAC Group, also of Miami.
Photo: Hoag Levins
'I wanted to be part of a Hispanic-owned-and-operated entity,' said Manuel Machado, CEO of Machado Garcia-Serra Publicidad.

The new agency will be big enough to gain access to national Hispanic account reviews without sacrificing its Hispanic ownership by following the usual route of selling to a multinational group.

$45 million in billings
The new agency will keep the name Machado Garcia-Serra Publicidad and have combined billings of $45 million and a staff of 40, moving from small to respectable in size for the Hispanic market.

Proving that both ownership and size are important to marketers, this year's biggest Hispanic account review, the $50 million Nissan North America assignment that last month went to the independent Vidal Partnership, New York, was open only to minority-owned shops. That account is doubling in size from around $20 million in ad spending because Nissan is adding to the national business a regional tier of dealers that haven't advertised to the Hispanic market before.

The need for greater size and more offices is believed to be one of the reasons incumbent Ornelas & Associates failed to hang on to the business.

Remaining 'competitive'
"We want to be sure we're competitive out there," said Manuel Machado, who will be the agency's CEO and joint chairman with his partner, Al Garcia-Serra. "And I wanted to be part of a Hispanic-owned and -operated entity."

Mr. Machado, who is also president of the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies, started his agency in March 2003. Ana Maria Fernandez Haar, IAC Group's CEO and chairman of the board, will be chairman emeritus of the merged shop. Another IAC executive, Gabriela Alcantara Diaz, will be executive vice president of the merged agency, Mr. Machado said.

Agency accounts
On the client side, IAC has a large regional account, Publix Super Markets, and handles Bell South's Yellow Pages and regional promotions for Cingular Wireless and projects for Procter & Gamble Co. Machado Garcia-Serra's accounts include Southeast Toyota dealers and Nortel in Latin America.

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