Rapp Collins Worldwide Teams With HispanAmérica

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Rapp Collins Worldwide, a unit of Omnicom Group Inc., New York, announced this week its joint venture with HispanAmérica Response Marketing, Newfoundland, PA, a consulting and targeting services firm specializing in Hispanic-oriented markets worldwide. The firm, a division of Direct Merchants S.A., already has an affiliate relationship with Rapp Collins offices in six Latin American countries. The new unit formed from the partnership will be known as HispanAmérica.

Malcolm Speed, chairman/CEO of Rapp Collins Worldwide, said the joint venture would further strengthen Rapp Collins' integrated services offering to clients. "We can now prepare our clients to aggressively enter Hispanic markets in North America and abroad."

HispanAmérica clients include Cendant Corp., Montgomery Ward, Procter & Gamble, Bertlesmann AG, Fingerhut and telecommunications giant SBC Communications, which became a client of Rapp Collins last month.

Beatriz Mallory, previously president of HispanAmérica Response Marketing, has been named CEO of the new venture and will relocate to the New York office of Rapp Collins. Her background includes sales and marketing, information management and industrial engineering at IBM and Andersen Consulting. She is also co-founder and former chair of Directo: The DMA Council for Hispanic Marketing.

Mallory said the integration of HispanAmérica's "culture-to-concept" approach to strategic marketing, along with the creative and executional capabilities of Rapp Collins, will lead to more comprehensive and effective retention programs for Hispanic customers in Spanish-speaking markets.

She added that by leveraging the resources of RappDigital, Rapp Collins' interactive marketing firm, the Rapp Collins-HispanAmérica joint venture would be providing companies targeting the Hispanic market with their first opportunity to receive simultaneous, fully integrated online and offline marketing initiatives from a single marketing partner.

"We will be the only single source for managing the convergence and integration of e-marketing with direct print, broadcast, mail and telemarketing in the Hispanic market," Mallory said.

According to HispanAmérica, North America is the world's largest, most lucrative Hispanic market, with a Hispanic population of 33.9 million - or one out of every eight citizens. The company said the U.S. Hispanic market is expected to be the second largest in population by the end of the decade - exceeding 41 million - and its buying power will nearly triple to more than $965 billion annually.

Rapp Collins Worldwide is a direct response marketing and customer relationship management agency with 62 offices throughout the world. The company's 1999 capitalized billings were in excess of $2.13 billion. The agency is part of Omnicom Group Inc.

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