Mediacom sets up in Puerto Rico

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SAN JUAN -- Grey Advertising has launched MediaCom, its branded media planning and buying service, at its San Juan, Puerto Rico, shop, West Indies & Grey. The agency will immediately implement MaXis, its proprietary media research, strategic planning and reach optimization application developed at MediaCom, New York.

Grey has been introducing MediaCom throughout Latin America over the past year. In June, MediaCom highlighted that it was increasing its regional presence by appointing I.J. Lacayo to managing director, Mexico, from the same position at Foote Cone & Belding, Mexico City. At the same time, it named Michele Votta, to strategic planning director with MediaCom, Buenos Aires. Votta was previously a senior account manager with media independent CIA, London.

Grey currently handles more than $600m in regional, media-only billings, and plans to double that figure within the next few years by positioning the company as media agency of record, said Jim Bell, managing director-MediaCom, New York. Currently, Latin American media clients include Procter & Gamble, British American Tobacco, Mars (M&Ms) and SmithKline Beecham, for whom assignments vary by country.

Independent media buying groups have been slower to enter Latin America than Europe, Asia and North America due to resistance by a number of Latin media giants that dominate individual markets. To date, the only media independents to open Latin American offices are Ammirati Puris Lintas' Initiative Media and Madrid-based media specialist Media Planning.

Copyright October 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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