Day 2

by Johanna McDowell on April 11, 2014

Starting at R/GA – one of the leading “pure play” digital agencies in the world and, as always, ahead of the curve.  R/GA never disappoints us – and their presence in Brazil and Argentina is already formidable with more than 83 people in the Sao Paulo office and 102 in Buenos Aires.

Barry Wacksman, Chief Growth Officer worldwide for R/GA, gave an update on the agency network and one of its newest initiatives – the R/GA Accelerator – which provides services to start up companies and adds value to the agency offering.  Three strong case studies rounded up an excellent start to the day.

IRIS Worldwide – had set up their show for us in order to demonstrate their activation, eventing and sustainable below line brand work and they did not disappoint us.  “ Participation branding”  is the name of the game and IRIS have developed five rules for brands to make this happen.  Again some excellent case studies were included.

IRIS is now 15 years old as an agency with hubs in London, New York and Sao Paulo and plans for Asia.  Independent and entrepreneurially driven, they are an agency to watch.

Peralta  - one of the most awarded creatives in Brazil started this agency in 2007 and has no plans to sell to a big network – though he is often approached.  Wanting to build an agency like Droga 5 or Wieden and Kennedy, Peralta is succeeding with large clients and competes at top level with the leading Brazil agencies.  “ Emerging advertising for emerging markets”  is Peralta’s clear positioning and their intentions are to collaborate with agencies in South Africa and China as part of their planned growth.

A very strong planning agency, Peralta demonstrated their success through some excellent case studies.

Saatchi & Saatchi – Brazil and worldwide - Worldwide CEO, Kevin Roberts, had flown in for the Summit and gave us a comprehensive update on the entire network including the five ways in which they have transformed this world famous agency.  As always Lovemarks are predominant and this has moved forward to Loveworks.  Their mission:  to deliver the most loved work that is shared.  Saatchi recognizes that consumers are sharing content as soon as they see it, participating in that content and adapting it.  Winning significant business like Walmart, has strengthened Saatchi’s shopper marketing expertise along with its 85 year old relationship with Procter.

HAVAS World Wide - We ended the day and night with Havas who are 5th largest agency in Brazil and very significant on the Latin American continent.  Havas is committed to keeping media, creative and digital all under one roof and it is working very successfully for them in their network.  A return to the 70’s is how they see it but with all the modernity of technology.

Day 1

by Johanna McDowell on April 10, 2014

Grupo Consultores – a specialist research company who collect data on agencies, media and clients – provided us with a comprehensive overview of the ad industry in South America/Latin America.  They really set the scene for the Summit.  The big learnings of the day: (more…)

AdForum Summit Brazil: April 9-12

by maud on April 8, 2014

For the first time, the Adforum Worldwide Summit takes place in Latin America, precisely in Brasil.
Latin America is home to some of the most creative agencies and Sao Paulo is the main subcontinent hub for many global networks.

From 9 to 12 April, in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, 15 Agencies, 1 TV network and 1 film production company will host meetings with 20 Agency Management and Search consultants from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, France, Germany, Mexico, Spain, South Africa, United Kingdom and the USA.

World legends will participate:
Nizan Guanes, founder and CEO of Grupo ABC, the giant brazilian holding company (with many agency brands including DM9éDDB, Loducca, Pereira O’Dell and Africa, AdAge International Agency of the Year) will introduce his group to the delegates.
Kevin Roberts, the World CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi will fly in to talk about the state of his network and his vision of the future..
Kevin Roberts, the World CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi will fly in to talk about the state of his network and his vision of the future.
To put these meetings into perspective, the Summit will start with a presentation of the Advertising landscape in Latin America, by Grupo Consultores.
Most of the leading agencies in the region, such as BBDO, Lowe, BBH, Ogilvy, DDB, Saatchi & Saatchi, Havas will participate showcasing their Global, Regional or Brazilian capabilities and some of the most interesting rising local agencies such as Santa Clara and Peralta will discuss how they grow in this competing environment. BETC will introduce us to their Brand in Brazil launched 2 months ago with former FBiz chief executive Gal Barradas and Erh Ray, the former chief executive of Borghi/Lowe, as its founders. The Experiential side of the business will be represented by Iris worldwide and Digital by RGA\ which opened in Brazil 3 years ago.
GLOBO, the dominant media player will talk about the very specific situation in Brazil where there are virtually no Media agency. And Tantor will talk about the rise of Content and its influence on Film Production worldwide and in the subcontinent where Creativity is the standard.

Agenda :

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9th, 2014  // (Sao Paulo)

Erh Ray & Gal Barradas, co-CEOs BETC SP

José Luiz Madeira, CEO, ALMAP/BBDO

Sergio Valente, VP, TV Globo


THURSDAY, APRIL 10th, 2014  // (Sao Paulo)               

Barry Wacksman, SVP, R/GA

Ian Millner, CEO, IRIS Worldwide

Alexandre Peralta, Founder, Peralta

Kevin Roberts, Worldwide CEO, Saatchi & Saatchi

Ricardo Monteiro, CEO Spain, Portugal, LATAM Havas


FRIDAYAPRIL 11th, 2014  // (Sao Paulo)   

Ulisses Zamboni, CEO, Santa Clara

Jon Peppiatt, BBH

José Borghi, CEO,Borghi Lowe

Marcio Santoro, CEO, Africa

Nizan Guanes, CEO, Grupo ABC

Paulo Queiroz, CEO, DM9/DDB

Fernando Musa, CEO, Ogilvy Brasil

SATURDAY,  APRIL 12th, 2014  //  (Rio de Janeiro)

Ingrid Bragemann,  CEO, Tantor Productions

Liliane Badaró, CEO, Pereira O’Dell Rio


The Unique Hotel in Sao Paulo, one of the most remarquable place in terms of Architecture  will host some of the presentation

The Unique Hotel in Sao Paulo

AdForum Worldwide Summit: A surprise visit from John Wren, Omnicom CEO

by Johanna McDowell on October 16, 2013

Montage CEO 2

Day 5 was quite spectacular as our first meeting was a surprise — John Wren, CEO of Omnicom. The AdForum Worldwide Summit Forum has not seen him for a few years but he accepted the invitation to join and give us an update on the Publicis Omnicom merger.

Many reasons

He confirmed that the many reasons for the merger include finding efficiencies in financial and technological areas, and that the focus is on the corporate side of the transaction, not on the individual agency brands. None of the agency brands in both groups will be merged.

The newly merged group (and it will still take about 8-12 months to finalise in all areas) will continue to do acquisitions in order to ensure that it has every discipline in place.

The group will continue to provide clarity to employees and clients regarding Newco, the new company that will ultimately be formed once Publicis and Omnicom finally merge. It will have to yield good results for shareholders.

And, in the interim, the Omnicom group still has its fiduciary duties to its current shareholders, as does Publicis.


Andrew Robertson, worldwide CEO of BBDO, then spent time with us and explained that the world does not need more content as there are already six billion hours of content on YouTube, and it will take us 1700 years to watch it all. He showed us some wonderful case studies from all around the BBDO network including the following brands:

  • La
  • Doritos – Mexican (mariachi) band
  • Smart Fortwo – car
  • Snickers
  • Guinness – ad for the disabled

All of these have already achieved major successes in their respective countries.

Publicis Omnicom merger

We then moved on to the final discussion regarding the Publicis Omnicom merger. This time we heard from Miles Nadal of MDC (Crispin Porter, 72 and Sunny etc) and Maurice Levy, CEO of the Publicis Groupe.

MDC commented that it will continue with its own acquisition trail and does not see any real impact on its group from the POG merger — although there might be opportunities.

Levy provided a very interesting new viewpoint on the merger and, as always, talked about the future and big data, rather than dwelling on the past. Levy proved to us that this merger is very much about being ahead of the curve and being able to meet the needs of a changing world. And the impact of external consulting companies, other than agencies.

Vertic and LinkedIn

Our final stops of the day were at the LinkedIn offices in the Empire State Building and with a digital agency called Vertic.

Vertic showed us two case studies around renewable energy and Office 365. In both cases, groups of LinkedIn members were targeted according to demographics, profiles etc, with astonishing results. It showed us how it can calculate a business case on a global scale through leveraging LinkedIn data; this is the future world. It would love to be paid on ROI but procurement is not ready for this concept just yet.

Regarding LinkedIn itself, it acknowledged that most marketers have not embraced what LinkedIn can do but that awareness campaigns are in play to change this.

Saying goodbye

And so after a final discussion and lunch, another AdForum Summit was over.  Saying goodbye to real friends is not easy as we share many experiences over a short space of time. We all felt that this was probably our best AdForum Summit yet, with lots of content(!) and outputs to think about.

AdForum Worldwide Summit: IPG agencies in Africa doing great — Michael Roth

by Johanna McDowell on October 16, 2013

NEW YORK CITY: Well, by now, the consultants are all becoming slightly weary — after three days of non-stop agency visits and 15 hours of working including late-evening presentations. But we were all up and ready once again early on Thursday morning, 10 October 2013, for another full day of AdForum Worldwide Summit.

adforumGeometry Global

Big excitement was a visit to Geometry Global, the new shopper marketing/precision activation agency formed by Ogilvy from a number of subsidiary agencies that have been in place.

The preparation that the Geometry people demonstrated through their presentation was inspiring for us all, as we looked at case studies from Latin America, Asia, Europe, Africa and North America; these were “live” case studies so we also had the experience. And a delicious breakfast.

The people of Geometry are hard-working and humble — a pleasure to be around and I am delighted that it has also opened up in Johannesburg — I am absolutely certain that it will be highly successful.


We then moved on to Havas at its new offices at 200 Hudson, and learned about its “Change Faster” mantra, along with its commitment to social media and digital, as well as social responsibility and business.

It has put creative, media and digital all in one place, starting in Paris and now in New York; this philosophy will be rolled out everywhere in the Havas world.

As always, it was a highly creative and collaborative experience, with a fascinating lunch preceded by a number of speed dating sessions around the agency. Havas’s open policy really works.


We then met with Michael Roth of IPG. He is always good news in terms of his overview of the industry and his agencies, and believes that, while there is confusion in the market place due to the economic conditions still not being completely recovered, along with the mega-merger of Omnicom and Publicis, there is opportunity for IPG.

He summarised the state of his agency networks very succinctly – commenting on how great two of the IPG agencies in Africa are – along with the various successes in other parts of the world.

Jack Morton

We then met with Jack Morton , a shopper marketing agency owned by IPG since 1998 but started in 1939. This is a very stable agency network which has only had three CEOs since it opened its doors all those years ago.

A very refreshing presentation and an interesting business that would certainly be very welcome in South Africa.


The final agency of the day was iCrossing, which we met last year. A digital agency of 900 people, it identifies itself as moment makers who build connected brands one moment at a time.

We learned a lot today about the consumer purchase decisions and the consumer purchase journey. The consumer data that is now available in this area is making it much easier for agencies to be precise in their communication, and we see this as a growing area of business for all client companies where consumer behaviour measurement is critical.

The iCrossing team showed us case studies for PNC bank (the virtual wallet) and Hampton Inns (a moment that was videoed with a 3.5-minute clip which is now online and is watched – to the end – each time).

And so the day ended with all of the agencies we have met this week joining the AdForum consultants for dinner at a New York restaurant. Very social and lots of fun to have everyone together.

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