Mayor brings Rio's advertising in-house

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[Rio de Janeiro, Brazil] Rio de Janeiro's controversial mayor, Cesar Maia, has decided not to use ad agencies anymore and to handle advertising in-house as a cost-savings measure. The news surprised even his own city advertising department, which works with ad agencies.

Mr. Maia has told the Special Advertising and Research Secretariat, a government entity linked to the mayor's office, to buy media and to work directly with production companies on ads the city can't produce itself.

The mayor's decision comes as the city's main account, previously handled by McCann Erickson-backed Contemporanea, was going into review. Although the business is only worth about $6 million, the mayor's decision to dispense with ad agencies sets an example for other government accounts and local ad groups are protesting.

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