SÃO PÃOLO — Brazil’s PR agencies are publicly calling on clients to halt business practices they see as inequitable.

“The clients are using their own rules that are not fair — lowering the budget, asking for more services for the same amount of money and using their buying departments to negotiate with agencies,” said XCOM partner and director Daniel Bruin, president of The Brazilian Association of Communication Agencies, or Abracom.

“We have decided to stop this situation,” he said.

To that end, Abracom, on behalf of its 157 member agencies, has rolled out a multi-phased campaign aimed at making the marketplace “more professional and more competitive,” Bruin said.

The effort launched in November with Abracom running an ad in Brazil’s marketing trade publications targeting companies’ purchasing managers.

“How you choose your agency says a lot about your values,” the ad reads. “In corporate communication tenders, follow good practices and principles of ESG.”
 
In the coming weeks, the ad will run in business publication Valor Economio, which is planning to publish a special section on PR, according to Vianews Communication CEO Pedro Cadina, an Abracom director. Abracom is also posting campaign content on LinkedIn.

“We have had great reception, with hundreds of comments and shares of the campaign on social media,” he said. “In the second phase, we want to speak to an even broader audience.”

Cadina said he believes the campaign will succeed in its primary goal: sparking dialogue with companies and ultimately agreeing on best practices.

He said it is incumbent on organizations preaching the values of social good to abide by them as well.

“We want PR contracts consistent with ESG principles,” Candina said. “The Brazilian PR market is in high demand, with many competitions, but with questionable practices related to deadlines, improper requests for proposals, low remuneration and payment terms extended to 60, 90 or even 120 days.

“Abacrom wants to change this scenario and improve the working conditions of agencies and their professionals," he said.