News Column

Top 25 Hispanic Ad Agencies -- 2003

December 2003, HISPANIC BUSINESS Magazine

Hispanic Business magazine's Top 25 Hispanic Advertising Agencies reported cumulative billings of more than $1.7 billion last year. HispanTelligence, the research unit of Hispanic Business, estimates that 90 percent of that total, or $1.5 billion, went toward Spanish-language campaigns, while only 10 percent targeted English-speaking Hispanics.

Those figures may seem off-kilter, given English-speaking Hispanics' superior purchasing power, but the strategy meant good business for the agencies. Twenty-three of the 25 agencies listed on the following pages, or 92 percent of the list, increased their billings in 2003. While many gainers showed marginal growth, Dieste Harmel grew by $40 million and Casanova Pendrill by $20 million. For growth in percentage terms, Accentmarketing was the leader, with a 56.1 percent increase in billings.

Lápiz, the Hispanic shop of Chicago-based Leo Burnett, stands as the number 1 agency on the list. A major competitor of Lápiz, however, dropped off the list this year. The Bravo Group, based in New York, was the largest company on the directory in 2002, with billings of $270 million, but this year the company declined to disclose its numbers to Hispanic Business and has been omitted. Miami-based Publicis Sanchez Levitan also declined to participate. Both companies cited the new Sarbanes-Oxley law, which affects the reporting of financial information at publicly traded companies, as the reason for their non-participation. The Bravo Group is part of The Interpublic Group, while Sanchez Levitan is a unit of French multinational Publicis Groupe.

Television accounted for more than 60 percent of all media billings for the Top 25 companies (see table, "Expenditures by Medium"). In terms of services, creative and ad production was the agencies' top moneymaker, followed by media buying and strategic planning (see table, "Expenditures by Service"). That order hasn't changed since last year.

Chicago, IL
(312) 220-5000
Ownership: Publicis Groupe
CEO: Dolores A. Kunda
Year founded: 1987
No. of employees: 66
2003 gross billings ($M): $180.00
2002 gross billings ($M): $175.00
Clients: Coca-Cola, Kellogg's, Tecate, Toys 'R' Us, Walt Disney, Wrigley

Dallas, TX
(214) 800-3500
Ownership: Omnicom
Year founded: 1995
No. of employees: 161
2003 gross billings ($M): $180.00
2002 gross billings ($M): $140.00
CEOs: Tony Dieste and Warren Harmel
Clients: Pepsi-Cola, Hyundai, Clorox, SBC, Washington Mutual, Western Union, Frito-Lay, Pizza Hut, Cingular, Taco Bell, Pfizer

Coral Gables, FL
(305) 448-9824
Ownership: Independent/100% Hispanic-owned
Year founded: 1979
No. of employees: 100
2003 gross billings ($M): $147.00
2002 gross billings ($M): $130.00
CEO: Teresa A. Zubizarreta
Clients: American Airlines, Americatel Corp., Florida Lottery, Ford Motor Co., G.E. Financial Services, MasterFoods, S.C. Johnson

Irvine, CA
(949) 474-5001
Ownership: Interpublic Group of
Companies/51% Hispanic-owned
Year founded: 1984
No. of employees: 63
2003 gross billings ($M): $140.00
2002 gross billings ($M): $120.00
CEO: Paul Casanova
Clients: General Mills, Pillsbury, The Home Depot, America Online, Kohl's Department Stores, Johnson & Johnson, L'Oreal, Nestlé

Ownership: Independent/100% Hispanic-owned
New York, NY
(212) 867-5185
Year founded: 1991
No. of employees: 78
2003 gross billings ($M): $102.00
2002 gross billings ($M): $85.00
CEO: Manny Vidal
Clients: Heineken USA, Wendy's, Old Navy, DirecTV, MasterCard, Schieffelin & Somerset, Century 21

  2003 billings ($M) Percent of total billings
TV $1,051.30 61.76%
Radio $341.10 20.04%
Print $138.69 8.15%
Internet $42.45 2.49%
Other $128.83 7.57%
Total $1,702.37 100%

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