La Comunidad Wins $20M Crown Brands Business

Named Agency of Record for Corona Extra, Modelo Especial

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NEW YORK ( -- Independent agency La Comunidad won Crown Imports' pitch to choose a new U.S. Hispanic agency of record for beer brands Corona Extra and Modelo Especial, an account worth about $20 million. La Comunidad beat two other Latino shops, independent Zubi Advertising and Conill, Saatchi & Saatchi's Hispanic agency, in a three-month review for the business, which will involve leading strategic planning, creative development and production for the two brands.

Corona and Modelo

The previous agency was Interpublic Group of Cos.' Casanova Pendrill, based in Costa Mesa, Calif.

Jim Sabia, executive VP of marketing for Crown Imports, led the review. In a statement, he credited La Comunidad's win to the agency's insight-driven creative ideas across multiple media platforms.

Increased ad budgets
Both Corona Extra and Model Especial have been increasing their ad budgets for the U.S. Hispanic market. Corona Extra, the No. 1 imported beer in the U.S. and the sixth biggest beer brand overall, spent $9.3 million in Spanish-language media in 2008, up from $7.7 million in 2007, according to TNS Media Intelligence. Modelo Especial spent $10.8 million in 2008, up from $6.6 million in 2007, according to TNS figures. La Comunidad's new client, Crown Imports, is a joint-venture between Constellation brands and Mexican brewing giant Grupo Modelo.

Jose Molla, founder of La Comunidad, has been tweeting updates on the pitch on Twitter, and tweeted this afternoon: "It's official ... Viva Corona and Modelo! Viva Mexico!" (Mr. Molla is from Argentina.)

The search consultant for the review was Rosario Cuellar, president of Integra Marketing.

C-K will still handle media
The business doesn't include Hispanic media, which is handled by Corona and Modelo's general market agency, Cramer-Krasselt, Chicago. Earlier this month, Crown said it was seeking a media agency to handle media buying and planning for its brand portfolio, which in addition to Corona Extra and Modelo Especial includes Corona Light and Pacifico.

La Comunidad, based in Miami Beach, is the 24th-largest agency in Ad Age's ranking of top Hispanic agencies. The agency also works for marketers outside the U.S. Hispanic market and its biggest clients include Best Buy's U.S. Hispanic account, Sony Electronics for Latin America, and Remy Martin, an account the agency handles for the general market.

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