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The 2023 LatAm PR Consultancies of the Year are the result of an exhaustive research process involving numerous submissions and meetings with the best PR firms across the region.
Consultancy of the Year winners are honoured at the 2023 LatAm SABRE Awards, taking place on 11 October as part of the Mexican PRORP’s annual RADICAL conference. Analysis of all Finalists and Winners can be accessed via the navigation menu or below:
In its 30th year—having been founded as a Miami-based Latin American specialist by Burson-Marsteller and Rowland Company alum Jeffrey Sharlach—The Jeffrey Group was acquired by WPP’s Hill+Knowlton Strategies in one of the most prominent (and surprising) deals of last year. The acquisition provided H+K with an instant and impressive regional network, and also provided an opportunity for its most prominent existing Latin American operation, Brazil-based Ideal, to take on a new global role.
In addition to its Miami headquarters, Jeffrey Group has owned offices in Mexico, Brazil (Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo) and Argentina, but is active in every market throughout Latin America, with slightly more than 340 people in the region.
Having suffered during the pandemic, Jeffrey Group recorded its second consecutive year of double-digit growth in 2022, ending the year with fee income of close to $16 million. Having been founded to help US and other international companies access the Latin American market, Jeffrey Group continues to work with a host of such companies: Airbus (a client for 15 years); Amazon (11 years); American Airlines (14 years); Bayer (14 years); Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau (11 years); John Deere (6 years); Marriott (7 years); Reckitt (12 years); Salesforce (10 years); Walt Disney World (5 years) New clients over the past 12 months include Amazon Games, AstraZeneca, Comerc Energia, Disneyland, DirecTV, Kenvue (J&J Consumer), Pizza Hut, Rappi, Sodexo, TikTok.
CEO Brian Burlingame has been at the agency for 22 years and at the helm for the last eight, during which time the agency has more than doubled in size and was appointed by Hill+Knowlton Strategies to lead its combined H+K and JeffreyGroup operations in Latin America following the acquisition. His leadership team includes Mauricio Gutierrez, chief strategy office and managing director, Mexico, now in his 10th year at the firm; Patricia Avila, managing director, Brazil; Natalia Montoya, regional managing director, who leads the Miami-based team that supports multi-market clients; creative director Mauricio Fogaça. One of the key benefits of the acquisition, the firm believes, is that as part of H+K, JeffreyGroup now has access to more resources and tools to help its employees thrive within a positive and diverse work environment.
Last year, JeffreyGroup partnered with Corporate Excellence Center for Reputation Leadership to present its annual “Approaching the Future” survey of corporate reputation trends. JeffreyGroup’s Insights & Analysis practice, meanwhile, generated online engagement and media coverage in Brazil for a study of how online conversation about racism was driven by an incident during a football match with Brazilian footballer Vini Jr. And the agency’s Social Impact & Purpose practice area produces a monthly newsletter called “Beyond Purpose”, which highlights trends in ESG and sustainability topics. The firm once again punched above its weight in the awards arena, leading all Latin American firms with 14 nominations in this year’s SABRE competition. Highlights included the “Positive Water” campaign for Reckitt; “The Patrón Circuit” for the tequila brand; “Outback featuring MasterChef” for Outback Steakhouse; the “Amazon Stars” campaign for the retail giant” and “We Get What Moves You” for Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
— Paul Holmes
Spain-based public relations agency Llorente & Cuenca had already established itself as one of the leading corporate and financial consultancies in Europe, and the global leader in Spanish-language markets, before it received private equity funding in 2015 and changed its name to LLYC in 2019. But recent years have seen accelerated growth, much it through acquisition, as the firm established itself among the top 50 in the world, expanding beyond its corporate and financial roots to offer public affairs, consumer marketing, and a wide array of digital and social capabilities.
In addition to its offices in Spain and Portugal, LLYC has built an extensive network in Latin America, with offices in Argentina (Buenos Aires), Brazil (Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo), Chile (Santiago), Colombia (Bogota), the Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo), Ecuador (Quito), Mexico (Mexico City), Panama (Panama City), and Peru (Lima), supplemented by affiliates in Bolivia, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
Globally, LLYC saw its fee income increase by 36% in constant currency terms, ending the year with fee income of around $78 million (enough for a spot in the world’s top 40). About half of that revenue derives from the firm’s Latin American operations, which rank among the top three in Mexico and Peru, the top five in almost all other markets, and top 10 in Brazil. With a client roster that includes the likes of Grupo Bimbo, Petrobras, Credicorp, Kellog's, Natura, Cencosud, Primax, PepsiCo, Yara and SQM, new additions over the past year include Assist Card, Banco Santander, TV Globo, Carmo Energy, Nestlé, Enel, Coca-Cola, Boehringer Ingelheim, Cervecería Nacional AbInbev and Arcos Dorados.
Alejandro Romero, who was the firm’s first consultant in Latin America, has risen to become global chief executive, a role he took on in November of 2022. With that promotion, 15-year LLYC veteran Juan Carlos Gozzer took over as Latin America CEO, supported by Maria Esteve. general manager for the Andean region; David Gonzalez Natal, MD of the North Latin America region; Andrea Lopez, senior talent director; and Javier Rosado, who joined to lead the Deep Digital operation. The firm has redoubled its commitment to what it calls the "LLYC Formula," the basis of its employee experience, with a new “Challengers Program” focused on rapid advancement for younger employees. LLYC has also deepened its commitment to diversity and inclusion, launching global gender equality and LQTBIQ+ plans.
LLYC’s strength in financial transaction communications, underscored by its partnership with global leader FGH and its consistent prominence in mergermarket rankings, has been supplemented by emerging capabilities in public affairs, corporate communications, consumer marketing, stakeholder management, and a suite of integrated digital services. Its Foco América Podcast platform discusses relevant topics across Latin America, with 11 episodes in 2022 generating 3,000 downloads. LLYC LatAm also produced 16 research reports, covering topics like digital conversations on mining in Argentina, non-communicable diseases' deadly habits, Colombia's 2022 presidential election, public perception of industrial sectors in Chile, generational habits and behaviors in Latin America, and Mexico's outlook in 2022. New products include the “Beyond the Pill” methodology for stakeholder journey construction in healthcare, and a Reputational Damage Analysis to quantify litigation risk. Highlights of the client work include Mocotó SQF for PTC Therapeutics in Brazil, a disease awareness initiative. In Mexico, in collaboration with La Moderna, the firm reinvented a Mexican tradition, the alphabet soup, into an inclusive experience that invited Mexicans to learn their first sign language words.
— Paul Holmes
Launched by Claudia Daré and Roger Darashah in 2019, Latam Intersect calls itself a “pandemic native” company, one with a sprawling team across Latin America serving local and global clients from India, China, Australia and the US. The agency’s primary goal is helping companies break into the Americas through communications that generates connections, cultural understandings and appreciations of the region and its people.
Co-CEOs Daré (one of our 2022 Innovator 25) and Darashah are based in São Paolo and have team members working in Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia and Central America.
2022 was a banner year for Latam Intersect, which cracked the million-dollar mark by growing revenue by 253% to $1.2 million. The year also saw the firm add 21 team members across multiple markets including PR specialists, a chief operating officer, head of influencer engagement and a Lisbon-based tri-lingual research and content specialists to support the team in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Latam Intersect supports more than half its clients in more than one market and/or with more than one offering. New business came from Koo, Yango, Yandex Games, Human Rights Watch, Reworth, Bonoxs, Metamundi, Fineland and Concentrix. They joined existing clients Temenos, Mphasis, Maple Bear, Gupshup, Better Collective, Control Risks and SiteMinder.
Though Daré and Darashah launched what in 2019 was still a non-traditional firm — remote — each of them brought roughly 30 years of industry experience to Latam Intersect, which they created and grew to be an inclusive, open organization that puts a premium on diversity. With teams across a very diverse Latin America, Daré and Darashah entrust country leaders to build and grow staff rooted in local populations and reflective of the differences among members. Latam Intersect has a robust employee experience program which has helped in recruiting and retention, onboarding, engagement and development. Daré and Darashah are supported by leaders including Carolina Proaño head of DEI, gender and environmental communications; COO Pamela Alexandre; and Lívia Gammardella, digital planning and strategy coordinator.
Latam Intersect continues to grow in scope and services, which include its new research division called Intersect Research designed to support campaigns. Last year, the agency started offering services focused on helping organizations with DEI and environmental issues. It also expanded its annual survey on the state of journalism in Latin America to include a look at media consumption to help agencies and companies hone their comms strategies. A 2022 Diamond SABRE Award winner, Latam Intersect produced a range of top tier work last year. Highlights include the agency’s “World Without Borders” campaign for MetaMundi, positioning the Brazilian agency as the region’s premier creator of brand experiences in the metaverse. Other hallmark work includes supporting Canadian school company Maple Bear’s expansion into Colombia, Mexico and Peru and influencer campaign for ride-hailing service Yango.
— Diana Marszalek
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 spans 14 countries, remains one of the most extensive in the region. The agency has expertise in consumer (purpose is a notable focus), corporate (including crisis) and employee comms and the healthcare and technology sectors, as well as formidable digital and social capabilities.
Porter Novelli’s Latin American operation includes offices in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Panama, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.
Since its 1996 LatAm launch, Porter Novelli has grown into a sprawling regional network with more than 600 employees across 14 countries. The firm’s Mexico and Brazil offices are particularly solid, ranking last year among the top three agencies in their respective markets. In the last year, Porter Novelli grew 12-15% (the firm doesn’t release exact numbers) thanks to the addition of 150 new clients and projects from the likes of Microsoft, P&G, Mars, American Express, The Home Depot, Equinix, Kellogg´s, AON, GOL, Brahma, Mattel, Cosnova, Bumble, will banco and Evergo.
Porter Novelli has a history of championing its employees’ wellbeing and continued to do in 2022 with the likes of a hybrid work model and having modernized, flexible workspaces. For the fifth consecutive year, Porter Novelli Mexico earned HCR Equidad MX certification from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for being one of the best places to work for LGBT+ equity. A regional Omniwomen initiative focused on driving women leadership and influence operates in Argentina, Colombia, Brazil and Mexico, while InPress Porter Novelli continued its efforts to fight stigmas around mental health, and, in 2023, launched a new mental health program in coordination with the UN Global Pact. Employees receive mandatory DEI training covering issues including unconscious bias and gender. Employee benefits to have been updated to include adoption support, flexible work arrangements, psychological support and telemedicine. All of which is a testament to ethos of the firm’s regional leaders including LatAm president Karen Ovseyevitz; Mexico co-founder and managing director Sandra Kleinburg; Porter Novelli Brazil CEO Roberta Machado; and ShiftPN CEO Rodrigo Castro , who leads or Central America and Andean operation.
Over the last year, Porter Novelli continued to evolve its offering from traditional PR to a more integrated approach, an effort that included developed thought leadership on pressing topics, testing new formats, developing new partnerships and producing and managing content that had a positive impact in brands, companies and society. The year’s thought leadership included the agency and partner The Global Situation Room hosting an event for clients on the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war in LatAm, which drew more than 200 attendees. In Brazil, the agency partnered with Cause, a leading agency in the market to drive campaigns with social and environmental impact produced guides for ESG, inclusive communications and sustainability practices. The Mexico office launched a business intelligence unit for research and analytics. The year’s hallmark work includes the Mexico office’s influencer campaign for Skittles; Brazil’s work supporting TERR4’s effort to encourage new signatories to the UN Global Compact; and the campaign the ShiftPN ran for NGO Nosotras Women Connecting that led to Costa Rica abolishing taxes on pads and tampons.
— Diana Marszalek
Our 2022 Regional Agency of the Year, Sherlock Communications has grown since its 2015 launch from a Brazil-based agency with three full-time employees and a small office in São Paulo into one of the most decorated PR firms in Latin America with more than 75 consultants and a physical presence in 15 countries. Sherlock Communications is now recognized as one of the leading specialists in helping international organizations operate multi-market campaigns across LatAm.
Headquartered in São Paulo, Sherlock is active in countries across Latin America including Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador and Uruguay and throughout Central America and the Caribbean.
After earning our Regional Agency of the Year honors last year, Sherlock continued to grow and improve in 2022, capping its fiscal year up 63% thanks to new business from more than 50 new clients including Sony Entertainment, Snapchat, Funko, Bumble, Coinspaid, Janus Henderson Investors, the Government of Finland, Fever, Palo Alto Networks, OneFootball, Pan American Development Fund, Ripple, Snowflake, and the World Wildlife Fund. The firm also expanded the scope of its work for existing clients including Betfair, Crypto.com, Opera, Maersk and the Norwegian Seafood Council. Sherlock has expanded operations in Uruguay, Paraguay and the Caribbean to strengthen its foothold in fast-developing markets and invested in developing a platform to manage and analyze influencer relationships. The agency’s specialist insights team grew last year; With hires from academia, the team grew by 50% to 120 employees.
Sherlock supports a wide array of communities, providing pro bono PR services or cash donations to groups focused on women’s health, education, rights for indigenous communities and sustainability initiatives among others. The agency is working with crypto company Cryptum on creating a platform that will enable smaller charities to receive donations digitally without commission costs. Sherlock’s website highlighting heroes from poorer communities, Lupa do Bem, draws tens of thousands of readers, resulting this summer in 12 donated beds for runaway kids, funding for a community sports hall and 1,000 meals for the homeless. Founders Alasdair Townsend and Patrick O'Neill still run the agency, with help from new hires such as Brazil PR head Patricia Zylberman. About 80% of Sherlock’s team participate in free foreign-language classes, run as part of a pro bono partnership with Abraço Cultural, an NGO that helps refugees settle in Brazil by providing employment as language teachers. Sherlock’s internal diversity & inclusion committee organizes regular collaborations with people from traditionally excluded communities who have addressed topics including LGBTQIA+ representation in media, sign language and ESG.
In 2022, Sherlock continued its robust thought leadership program, producing a regular series of e-books on key trends in Latin America. The agency’s blockchain report alone generated 500 pieces led to new business from brands including Crypto.com and Sorare. Sherlock’s impressive work over the last 12 months included creating an executing an integrated campaign for The Brazilian Institute of Responsible Gaming in just two weeks, raising the profile and credibility of the organization. Other showcase work included sending five Mexican journalists cod fishing in the North Sea for the Norwegian Seafood Council and producing a glitzy TV game show featuring influential gamers and celebrities for Opera GX.
— Diana Marszalek
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