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The 2019 Latin American PR Agencies of the Year are the result of a research process involving submissions and meetings with the best PR firms across the region.
Agencies of the Year are announced at our Latin American SABRE Awards ceremony which takes place at Seminario de Cultura Mexican (Mexican Cultural Seminar) in Polanco, Mexico City on September 11, 2019. Analysis of all Finalists and Winners can be accessed via the navigation menu or below:
With more than 300 employees throughout Latin America, BCW has the largest proprietary network in the region, spanning offices in Argentina (Buenos Aires), Brazil (Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazilia), Colombia (Bogota, Medellin), Chile (Santiago), Mexico (Mexico City), Peru (Lima), Uruguay (Montevideo). And while the majority of the business represents the legacy Burson-Marsteller network, which entered the market 30 years ago and is an established leader in corporate and public affairs, Cohn & Wolfe’s Brazilian acquisition Máquina brings strong consumer credentials into the mix (and doubles the size of the Brazilian office).
The strengthened leadership teams includes Patricia Ávila, who as CEO of BCW Brazil oversees offices in São Paulo, Brasília and Rio de Janeiro; Alberto Díaz, CEO of BCW Mexico; Guido Gaona, CEO of BCW Argentina and leader of the firm’s regional integration efforts; and Carolina Palacios, president of South America (including Colombia and Chile) and Peru. Interesting work spanned all those offices, including reaching out to millennials on behalf of Ford in Peru, reviving the autocimena drive-in experience; launching a soy product for Coca-Cola (AdeS) in Mexico; encouraging “Phone-Life Balance” for Motorola in Argentina; and supporting #MaisMulheresNaTecnologia (more women in tech) with Intel.—PH
LLYC (the former Llorente & Cuenca changed its name in April of this year) now derives almost exactly half of its $45 million revenue from the Latin America region, and has established itself as the largest firm in the Spanish and Portuguese speaking markets of the world, with extraordinary depth in financial communications (it joined the Finsbury-Hering Schippener partnership this year), corporate and public affairs, as well as in key sectors ranging from financial services to the extractive .industries. The Latin America network includes owned and branded offices in Argentina, Brazil (Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo), Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and the Dominican Republic, as well as affiliates in nine additional markets, and a hub in Miami that provides a link with LLYC’s burgeoning North American network.
The client list is impressive, a mix of Spanish, Latin American, and global brands including Cisneros, AB InBev/ SABMiller, Fortinet, DHL, Merck, Naturgy, Siemens-Gamesa, and Delta, with new additions over the past 12 months including Bacardi, Boeing, the FCC, and Fox. There were new hires too, including Miguel Maxwell, who joined as chairman of the advisory board in Argentina, and Juan Carlos Restrepo, in a similar role in Colombia. High profile work included broad corporate communications around the joint venture between Boeing and Embraer, one of the most high-profile companies in Brazil; a Day of the Dead publicity campaign for the Mexico Tourism Promotion Council; and a SABRE-winning effort, “I'm a Girl, I'm Important Summer Camp” for Fundación Tropicalia and Cisneros Real Estate. — PH
JeffreyGroup provides public relations services across Latin America to international clients, with 200 full-time professionals in its Miami headquarters and offices in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico (three markets that account for about four-fifths of multinational client spending in the region), supplemented by affiliates and independent contractors in other South and Central American markets and the Caribbean. Founded by Burson-Marsteller and Rowland Company alum Jeffrey Sharlach, the firm is led today by CEO Brian Burlingame, with Sarah Garrido joining last year as managing director of the Miami office, having previously served as director of business development at branding firm Conway+Partners.
Fees were up by about 24% last year, thanks to new business from Citibank, Enel, GE, HBO, John Deere, Loreal, MasterCard, PepsiCo, Roche and Samsung, while the firm significantly expanded its relationships with Amazon, Marriott International and Salesforce and continued it work with longstanding clients Airbus (11 years), American Airlines (8 years), Bayer (11 years), Facebook (7 years), and Mead Johnson (9 years). The work, meanwhile, is consistently excellent, with six Latin American SABRE trophies—more than any other agency —for work including the “Rebuilding An Icon” campaign for Camargo Corrêa Infra; “Energy Connects Us” for Enel; “Happn's Crush On Brazil” for Happn; and the Game of Thrones series finale promotion for HBO Latin America. — PH
Porter Novelli (Omnicom)
Porter Novelli’s operations in North America, Europe and Asia have been on a rollercoaster ride over the past decade or more, but under the leadership of Karen Ovseyevitz, the firm’s Latin American business—which includes operations in Argentina, three Brazilian cities, Colombia, six Central American countries, Chile, Mexico, Panama, and Peru—remains one of the most extensive in the region, with about 500 people offering clients expertise in the consumer (purpose is a particular focus) and corporate (including crisis) areas, and the healthcare and technology sectors, as well as formidable digital and social expertise. With Ovseyevitz as president, the leadership team includes market veterans such as Sandra Kleinburg in Mexico and Kiki Moretti in Brazil.
The firm works with a roster of clients that includes Microsoft, Sanofi, Almond Board of California, P&G, Unilever Brazil, BMW, Ambev, Claro, Mattel, LinkedIn, and Western Digital, with new business over the past 12 months from Colgate (Guatemala), ICT (Costa Rica), Aruba (regional), Axtel, Astra Zeneca, Corteva, BMS, Foreo, Itau, and Nestle Chile. Award winning work includes recognition for research and evaluation in Mexico, for work on behalf of Bayer; Brazilian projects for Banco Santander, Unilever, and Roche; and an Argentinian campaign for flagship regional client Arcos Dorados. — PM
Weber Shandwick (IPG)
Interpublic’s Weber Shandwick is a relative newcomer to the Latin America region, having opened its first wholly-owned office there in 2011. But under an energetic leadership team including Latin America chair Laura Schoen, Brazilian CEO José Luiz Schiavoni (whose firm, S2 Publicom was acquired eight years ago), and Mexcan managing director Amanda Berenstein. With the support of a strong management team, and a vision for blending traditional public relations with some of the most sophisticated digital and creative capabilities in the region (Weber acquired Brazilian digital marketing specialist Capuccino in May), the firm has built out a network of close to 300 people in five wholly-owned offices, including a Bogotá operation that is coming up on its first anniversary next month.
Despite the region’s turbulence—elections in the two major markets creating challenges for all PR firms—Weber Shandwick continued to grow at a double-digit pace over the past 12 months, with new business from IBM, Tinder, GM, Avianca, IKEA, Herdez, HBO and Coca-Cola. Those clients join a roster that includes Bayer, Electronic Arts, Boehringer, McDonalds, TIM, and more. The firm’s work brought in five Latin American SABRE trophies, with winning campaigns ranging from a campaign that combined artificial intelligence and Mexican musical talent to finish Schubert’s symphony, on behalf of Huawei to the “#MyPainMatters” initiative for Buscofem in Brazil; to “Reinforcing GM’s Commitment to Brazilian Development” for General Motors.—PH
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