Dieste Harmel & Partners

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2004 Rating: 3 stars

The essence: Last year's Ad Age Multicultural Agency of the Year, Omnicom Group-owned Dieste is always a contender.

Net growth: Billings for one of the largest Hispanic agencies grew by 19% and one 2004 win, the coveted J.C. Penney Co. account, has already become the agency's biggest, including media planning and buying. Growth was also strong from existing clients like Washington Mutual, PepsiCo's Frito-Lay and Hyundai Motor America.

management: The ultra-stable management team of President Tony Dieste and Warren Harmel, probably the only South African to be managing partner of a Hispanic agency, further diversified by spinning off the promotions division into a standalone promotions and events agency Spice Marketing. It won accounts from Nokia and Dannon Co. It also grew its new direct response unit.

Creative quality AND effectiveness: Dieste boasts one of the Hispanic market's leading executive creative directors, Managing Partner Aldo Quevedo, who in 2004 became the first U.S. Hispanic creative director to be inducted into the AAF Hall of Achievement. Dieste is one of the first Hispanic agencies to form a significant relationship with a pharmaceutical marketer, a category that largely ignores the Hispanic market. Focusing with Pfizer on identifying and treating high cholesterol, Dieste's efforts paid off with a 22% increase in new prescriptions for statins and 12% for Pfizer's Lipitor in high Hispanic ZIP codes measured in 2004.

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