Iberia PR Consultancies of the Year 2018 | Holmes Report
Charting the future of public relations

2018 Iberian PR Consultancies of the Year

Our 2018 EMEA PR Consultancies of the Year are the result of an exhaustive research process involving more than 200 submissions and face-to-face meetings with the best PR firms across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Winners were unveiled at the EMEA SABRE Awards in Amsterdam on 23 May. Analysis of all Finalists across 20 categories can be accessed via the navigation menu to the right or here. 

Winner: Atrevia (Independent)

While Atrevia, which has a 30-year history in Iberia, has expanded its operations into 16 countrires over the past few years, the former Inforpress continues to derive the majority of its revenues from the Iberian markets: close to €17.5m of its €19.5m in fee income last year was derived from its extensive Spanish network (offices Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao, Santiago de Compostela, Málaga, Sevilla, Valladolid) and its Portuguese operations (Lisbon, Porto). That’s enough to make it a market leader on the peninsula, as well as one of the leading independent firms in Europe.

The other thing that continues to set Atrevia apart from its competitors in Spain is the diversity of its operations. While others have carved out niches in corporate and financial communications or consumer PR, Atrevia is genuinely full-service, with genuine strength in consumer, corporate, financial,  healthcare, technology, and digital, and with market leading expertise in areas such as employee communications. The firm has a newer public affairs capability that has been expanding internationally (including a small Brussels office) and expanding advertising capabilities. New clients such as Miele, FNAC, Roche, Turkish Airlines and Burger King helped to drive growth of close to 10% in 2017, joining a roster that includes C&A, Twitter, LIDL, Pfizer and California Walnuts.

Under the leadership of founder and president Núria Vilanova, the firm continued to innovate in 2017. Atrevia launched a new global business model creating new departments including market research, advertising and digital innovation. With new Latin American offices, and the growth of existing ones, Atrevia expanded its recruitment efforts to increase its expertise and promote the company’s digitalization. The agency expanded into advertising and creative. It also became the first Spanish communications consultancy to receive the EFR certificate for being a family-focused company. — PH/DM 

 

Finalists

Edelman (Independent)

While Edelman’s EMEA region numbers were relatively flat, there were one or two markets that outperformed both Edelman as a whole and their local market too. Edelman’s Spanish operation, which includes offices in both Madrid and Barcelona, was among the agency’s top performers despite difficult market conditions, recording growth of 8% and ending the year with a headcount of 60—likely good enough to place Edelman firmly in a market top 10 that continues to be dominated by local Spanish firms.

Edelman’s clients in Spain include Iberostar and AstraZeneca (both of which have been with the firm for close to a decade); Abbvie (nine years); and Repsol, for which Edelman provides global crisis training, (five years). Other notable clients include HP, eBay, AstraZeneca, Shire, GSK, PayPal, Align Technology, and LinkedIn, while new additions in 2017 included Nissan (Edelman won the global remit in April), Euronext, Kirkland & Ellis, and Fox Network Group.

The agency’s strengths include a senior management team, led by general manager Miguel Ángel Aguirre and deputies Jordi Ballera (Madrid( and Brad Pick (Barcelona), and growing expertise in corporate, crisis, and public affairs, providing corporate reputation support for AstraZeneca; financial communications work for Euronext, Fisher Investments, Santalucia (Aviva), Rastreator (Admiral), as well as the crisis work for Repsol and development of a new “crisis command center” product. The firm has also worked extensively in the tourism sector for clients including Iberostar (a highly integrated assignment), Ryanair, Costa Cruceros and Tourism of Andorra. Other notable work this year includes a SABRE nominated campaign, “5000 Gestures Without Pain” for GSK. — PH

Evercom (Independent)

Evercom numbers 70 people across Iberia, growing more than 15% last year and by more than 50% over the last three years. The firm's Spanish operation has long possessed strength across corporate, public affairs and brand marketing, and this has been complemented in recent years by growing capabilities in healthcare, technology and food and beverage.

New clients include Level, Rowenta, Moulinex and Oticoni, adding to a client roster that already features Burger King, Deutsche bank, Infojobs, Liberty Seguros,Midas, Mondelez, AECOC, BP, AEGON and Alvalle. Evercom's work remains more creative than most and the firm is also distinguished by a keen thought leadership edge that has seen it develop an annual trends report. — AS

Lift World (Independent)

Portugal’s Lift World is the umbrella group for eight integrated agencies that focus on a wide array of marketing and communications services,  from the established to the emerging. It seems fitting that its tagline is “Great Together” — 85 employees work for a holding company that is inching towards €10m (although revenues were flat in 2017 at €9.8m).

Under the leadership of Salvador da Cunha, Lift has always benefited from a diversified approach, bolstered by the 2016 launch of brand activation specialist Big Fish. Key clients include Microsoft,:´Oréal, Nestlé, Rock In Rio, SLBenfica, The Navigator Company, Vodafone, Intermarche, Sonae Sierra and EDP while there was notable new business from Samsung, WEDO, Worten, Credit Suisse and Deloitte. 

Campaign highlights, meanwhile, included positioning Abbott as a market leader in the diabetes industry via the FreeStyle Libre meter. — AS

Llorente & Cuenca (Independent)

While Llorente & Cuenca’s Latin American operations—which now account for more than 60% of the firm’s global revenues—have understandably garnered a lot of attention in recent years, the firm’s Spanish and Portuguese business (spanning offices in Barcelona, Lisbon and Madrid) continue to account for a little more than €14 million—enough to rank the firm among the market leaders on the Iberian peninsula. And the firm’s 8% fee increase in Europe last year actually outperformed the growth of the Latin American business.

Still best known for its work in the corporate and financial space—it is the Latin world’s leading advisor on financial transactions—L&C has invested heavily in digital and creative capabilities in the past few years, and continued to add innovative new services in 2017: People by Llorente & Cuenca, which helps organizations mobilize employees as social media advocates; SOS Works by Llorente & Cuenca, which aims to minimize reputation damage in the event of crisis; and Analys-In, a mobile channel that provides clients with political and economic analysis.

Clients include Coca-Cola, Bayer-Monsanto, Campofrío, Aliseda, Repsol, Gas Natural Fenosa, BBVA and CaixaBank, with new business in 2017 coming from Bodegas Emilio Moro, GSK, Uniqlo, Xiaomi, Queiroz Galvão, Kronos Homes, Lidl and more. The firm’s creative work, meanwhile, resulted in five EMEA SABRE nominations—considerably more than any other agency in the Spanish market—with highlights including community outreach for Aquarius (a sports drink from Coca-Cola) focused on older entrepreneurs and age discrimination in Spain; an integrated marketing campaign for Campofrío; and capital markets communications for Unicaja, a medium-sized domestic bank going through a major transformation at a difficult time for the Spanish economy. — PH