NEW YORK — Edelman CEO Richard Edelman along with two Hispanic marketing leaders, Luis Miguel Messianu and Pedro Lerma, have launched a new communications agency focused on the increasingly powerful Latino market.

The agency, called MEL (Messianu/Edelman/Lerma), is operating as an independent agency and is minority-owned, given Edelman's minority share of the business.

MEL specializes in earned-centric media, creative and digital solutions targeting Hispanic consumers, who are increasing in numbers and spending power.

With Hispanic leaders, the firm has the cultural experience and expertise necessary to craft campaigns that resonate with bilingual and bicultural Latinos, MEL said in announcing its launch.

Ad industry veteran Messianu and Lerma, a digital and Hispanic marketing specialist, are founders of Included Creative and Lerma respectively. Included is now part of MEL.

The agency is launching with offices in Miami, New York and Dallas. Mel will be run by Lerma as founder and CEO; Messianu as founding president and chief creative officer; Edelman, as founder and chairman; and former Edelman Miami GM Carla Santiago as founder and COO.

“After I announced the launch of my own venture, Included, Pedro Lerma approached me about joining and this led to very interesting conversations with him and eventually with Richard Edelman, with whom he was already exploring a partnership. We realized that the combination of the three of us would be mighty, and we are incredibly excited to launch MEL together,” said Messianu. “Personally, it’s an honor and a privilege to count on the trust and support of both as I start an exciting new chapter of my creative journey. It’s great to Be Included, and of course, it’s a matter of pride to have my name on the door once again.”

Said Edelman, “MEL represents a significant milestone in Edelman's ongoing commitment to serving diverse markets and leveraging the growth potential within the Hispanic community. This venture facilitates a dedicated and scalable integration of Hispanic-specialized capabilities with strategic and executional excellence."