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Miles Young Eyes Ogilvy PR Expansion In Latin America

Asia Pacific, EMEA, Global, North America

Arun Sudhaman 25 Jun 2012

CANNES--Ogilvy & Mather CEO Miles Young wants his agency’s PR arm to step up expansion in Latin America, he told the Holmes Report in Cannes last week.

Young pointed to Brazil, Mexico and Colombia as potential markets for growth. The firm currently has a mix of affiliate relationships and owned offices in various Latin American markets, but Young is eager to develop a more robust regional presence, possibly via acquisition.

“The issue is the balance sheet,” said Young, when asked about acquisition plans in Latin America. “Is it clean and what are the tax liabilities?”

Young added that WPP had a more stringent acquisition process than “French holding companies.”

One of Ogilvy PR’s biggest clients in recent years is the Mexican government, for which it has overseen an award-winning programme to rebuild the country’s global reputation. That campaign did not bring home any metal at the Cannes Lions PR awards, where it was trumped by CLM BBDO’s “Naked Man” programme.

“What wins here tends to be glossy objects,” said Young. “By definition, this wasn’t really about that. Was it vivid enough? Possibly not.”

Young said that PR firms needed to “create a philosophy of creativity in PR” if they hoped to succeed at Cannes. He also said that the heavy reliance on the video entry is “a problem”.

It’s the creativity of the video that is swinging the jury,” said Young. “If this competition is about the creativity of competing videos, then it’s a nonsense.” 

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