Global digital agency Profero has taken a bold step, acquiring a majority stake in a creative-intensive Hispanic marketing shop – the vox collective. The independent, New York-based agency is now Vox Profero.
Both agencies aim to capitalize on the other’s strengths… Vox Profero gains its parent company’s global digital and social marketing capabilities while Profero obtains immediate access to insights on, and contact with, Hispanic and Latin American consumers.
“It’s a game changer for us,” says Roberto Ramos, CEO of Vox Profero, who describes the deal as a natural evolution for both independent agencies. “When you take two growth pillars, digital and Hispanic, it inherently makes sense.”
Vox Profero will continue to operate independently, with Ramos and chief creative officer Susan Jaramillo at the helm. Ramos will now report to Aaron Reitkopf, CEO of Profero Americas.
When conversations between Ramos and Arnold began several months ago, they quickly focused on growth opportunities – digital for vox and Hispanic for Profero, particularly the U.S. Hispanic-Latin American synergies for clients and consumers.
“We were looking for ways to transform our offering, to turbo-charge it, and digital was the way to do so,” says Ramos. “But to become as digital as possible you have to do it organically, which takes time, or through the right-level partnership.”
A 25-person team in with offices in New York and San Francisco, Vox Profero’s client roster now includes Macy’s, General Motors, PepsiCo and Vonage – which is also a Profero client. The last several years have been hard on Vox, impacted by marketers’ cutbacks in campaigns and advertising dollars targeting U.S. Hispanics.
“It’s something we needed; it’s healthy for us to have this rebooting of sorts for the agency,” admits Ramos. “We’re adding capabilities that give our clients access to other geographies, a deeper toolkit in terms of digital and social media, and our team can collaborate in shaping cross-over campaigns that include Hispanic outreach.”
One of Vox Profero’s first initiatives as a member of the Profero agency network is the “Conectados: A Latino Digital Roadmap” series that will target prospective and existing clients showcasing the Hispanic digital business opportunity.
Executives at Profero, long established in the United Kingdom and China, had been exploring opportunities to grow their presence in the U.S. for some time. The vox acquisition not only delivers a second office in New York, but direct access to the fast-growing Hispanic market and an entry into Latin America, where Profero doesn’t have a presence. Short-term plans call for expanding Vox Profero’s expertise into Mexico and Brazil.
“This partnership keeps us on track to achieve our strategic goals in 2012 by accelerating our growth in the Americas, and by allowing us to offer our clients digital solutions to reach the growing and influential Latino markets,” Profero’s global CEO Wayne Arnold said in a statement.
In 2011, Profero gained $14 million in revenue from the U.S. market, No. 3 in terms of revenue behind the U.K. and China. The agency’s worldwide revenue total for the year was $71 million. Currently, Profero clients, including Diageo’s Smirnoff, Unilever’s Tresemme and Western Union, are managed from the agency’s New York office.
The vox collective got its start as The Ruido Group, an integrated communications company focused on the Latino youth market. It was launched in 2000 by a group of young marketing and creative professionals (HMW Archives 11/20/00. The Noise Makers). The agency’s first task: a multi-platform campaign for the Office of National Drug Control Policy assigned by Oglivy & Mather.
In summer 2003, Latinvox Communications – an extension of Ruido Group – launched a holding group of Hispanic-focused advertising and marketing shops. The holding group included four agencies: Ruido Group, C/I Hispania, ID3 Publicidad and Cognoscenti Publicidad (HMW Archives 7/14/03. Strength In Numbers).
In 2008, the agency restructured its operations, expanding its reach into more broad-based and non-Latino marketing genres… and adopted a new name – vox collective (HMW Archives 2/4/08. Latinvox Reinvents? Again).
Did You Know?
- Profero has 650 employees at offices in Beijing, Benelux, Dubai, Hamburg, London, Milan, Munich, New York, Paris, Shanghai, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Zurich.
- Its client roster includes Diageo, HTC, Lufthansa, MINI, Unilever, Vonage, and Western Union.