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The 2020 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.
Edelman (DJE Holdings)
With more than 110 people in Mexico, Edelman is one of the largest multinational firms in the market—and among the top five overall— and with a 25-year history in Mexico City, it is also one of the longest-established, with a deep understanding of the local culture. Like its global parent, the Mexican operation has invested heavily in digital and creative capabilities, but it also has corporate and public affairs capabilities and under the leadership of general manager Mariana Sanz it has established itself as a leader in the technology sector in particular.
Growth of around 25% last year saw the firm’s billings in the market close in on $6 million, helped by new business from Cinépolis, Vichy, Alfa, Quickbooks, Facebook Latam, Driscoll's, Automation Everywhere, BlackRock, Zebra Technology Corporations, which joined a roster that also includes Starbucks, Whatsapp, Spotify, Microsoft & Xbox, HP, La Costeña, PayPal, Posadas, Essity, and KFC. Highlights of the firm’s work included award-winning projects for LinkedIn (addressing the shortage of women in management positions throughout Mexico) and KFC (a “Prayer Candle” campaign connecting the brand to the Mexica Day of the Dead holiday).—PH
Mexican agency Extrategia was founded in 1999 by Carlos Herrero, focused—as the name suggests—on providing strategic guidance at the highest level. The firm has expanded over the past 20 years to become one of the leading independents in the Mexican market—with a headcount of about 60 professionals—as well as a leader in other Spanish-speaking areas of Latin America, adding operations in Chile, Colombia and Peru, as well as an outpost in Spain, all offering a blend of corporate reputation management and consumer branding expertise—as well as Extrategia’s own media and monitoring service, which provides considerable advantage in times of turbulence and change.
The firm works for a diverse roster of clients including Jose Cuervo, Chemours, Newmont, Royal Caribbean, Bridgestone, Canon, McDonald's, TV Azteca, Axalta, and Iberdrola, with new business over the past 12 months from EY, Siemens Healthineers, Knight Frank, P&G, Edenred, McKinsey, Emilio Moro Wines, Element, Pan American Silver, and Quest Diagnostics. Headline assignments included providing support for the Women Economic Forum Mexico, and Canasta X Mexico, an event to help the Mexican agriculture sector sell more of their produce during the Covid-19 pandemic.—PH
Porter Novelli Mexico (Omnicom)
Still under the watch of two of its founder founders — managing director Sandra Kleinburg and LatAm president Karen Ovseyevitz — Porter Novelli Mexico operation is among the robust of Porter Novelli’s sprawling Latin American network. While having built its reputation on consistently strong client work (resulting in a roster of top-tier companies including the likes of P&G, American Express, Microsoft and J&J), PN Mexico also has long been a leader in championing diversity and inclusivity, and its importance in driving creativity and innovation, earning recent recognition as a great place to work for member of the LBGT+ community as well as moms.
The stellar list of companies who joined the firm’s client roster in the last 12 months speaks to the office’s 116 staffers’ expertise in consumer, health, food, technology and reputation work. New business from Amgen, Carvajal Empaques, Chubb, Equinix, Herdez, Hilton, Nokia, SAP Concur, OTRS and Thales joined existing partners including Home Depot, UPS, Sony Western Digital, Almond Board of California as well as P&G, American Express, Microsoft and J&J. All of which PN Mexico succeeded in attracting and retaining during a year marked by client belt tightening, which the firm responded to by creating regional teams for cross-market accounts and investing in data and analytics capabilities. New offerings include PN Map to help executives develop purpose platforms, analytics dashboards, daily Covid-19 trackers and virtual events and media training. — DM
Weber Shandwick (IPG)
In the short five years since Weber Shandwick Mexico opened its doors with a five-person team, the operation has established itself as a dynamic operation able offer clients the integrated, multidimensional capabilities befitting an agency of Weber Shandwick’s size. As a result, the operation today is 63-people strong, serving as the agency of record for 38 top-tier companies — CEMEX, Liverpool and Grupo Herdez among them. In 2019, Weber Mexico added 19 clients including Nintendo, Royal Caribbean, Directv Go, Skechers, Aon, Carl´s Jr, Nutrisa and Cielito Querido Café to a roster already populated by the likes of Exxon Mobil, IKEA, Novartis, Liverpool, HBO, Corning, and Ericsson.
Over the last 12 months, Weber Mexico has focused on helping clients navigate and succeed in complex times marked by polarizing politics that has put government and business at odds, and fueling economic uncertainties, as well as most recently the Covid-19 pandemic.
Under the watch of managing director Amanda Berenstein (who has added LatAm client experience leader to her title), the operation proactively responded to the diminishing media outlets and editorial contacts by doubling down on crafting hyper-tailored content for clients that is distributable across channels, including non-mainstream outlets. Best known for its work in the consumer tech and retail sectors, Weber Mexico’s corporate comms and consumer practices got an infusion of business last year, reflecting the groups’ growing reputation for being able to recognize trends and risks — and change course accordingly. The office also introduced Weber’s United Minds management consultancy to the market and created One Agency, an in-house team providing the gamut of communications services to IKEA. Among the year’s hallmark works: rallying enthusiasm for IKEA’s first store in the market by promoting awareness of the largely unknown affinity for Mexico that’s prevalent in Sweden, where wrapping up the work week with Friday night tacos is a national tradition. — DM
Zimat Consultores (Independent)
Zimat is distinguished from its competitors in Mexico both by its size—it is one of the top two firms in the market, and the only indigenous firm in the top five—and by its approach: Zimat is one of only a handful of Latin American firms that doesn’t compete on price, having established itself as a strategic advisor capable of charging a premium for the senior counsel it provides to both corporate and public sector clients.
It all starts with top talent: a team of 180 is spearheaded by practice leaders such as partner Andrea Castro, who heads up the firm’s CEPOL unit, which handles corporate responsibility and public affairs issues; Jaime Ramirez, a former journalist who serves director of risk prevention and management; and Araceli Muñoz, director of institutional communications. But the firm has also developed several unique systems and products that support its high-value strategy, including “Break It,” a tool that helps clients create a more diverse and inclusive work culture, and The Analysis Unit, which allows for a data-driven approach to problem solving and produced daily reports during the Covid-19 crisis that reached more than 800 decision makers across the country.
And while the virus had its effect on the business this year, Zimat has enjoyed an average double-digit growth over the past five years, and picked up plenty of new business over the past 12 months, including ConMexico, Farmacias San Pablo, Grupo Lala, Grupo Posadas, Grupo Vitro, Mary Kay, Pericos de Puebla, Softek, Tequila Centenario, and T-Systems. Those names join a roster that includes big names such as Consejo Mexicano de Negocios, Constellation Brands, GNP, Grupo Bimbo, Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey, Kio Networks, Orbia, Peñoles, and Sigma. And as ever, there was plenty of high-profile work, including crisis management for Aeromexico in Durango, support for earthquake victims on behalf of Fondo Oaxaca, and serving as lead agency of Mexico’s private sector during the renegotiation of the NAFTA free trade agreement.—PH
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