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Puerto Rico advertising industry faces challenges after Hurricane María

By on October 20, 2017

SAN JUAN – Just a month after its inception, the new board of the Puerto Rico Advertising Agencies Association (AAPPR by its Spanish initials) experienced its first major challenge with Hurricane María’s impact on the local advertising industry.

One of the most common fears among members of this industry is the possibility clients will reduce their investment in media. The new AAPPR president, Luzirene Mendoza, said that beyond cutting advertising budgets, clients and agencies should look for ways to redirect their communication efforts to the new reality after the hurricane.

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“That goes from the means used to communicate the message to the very message that the customer or brand wants to communicate, [which needs to be] in tune with the reality the consumer is living as a result of the effects the hurricane is having on their lives,” said Mendoza, who is also CEO & partner TBWA San Juan.

“For example, with the hurricane affecting digital media and television due to the lack of electric power, it reinforces the importance at this time of traditional media, such as print and radio, as well as messages that reflect how a service or product can benefit consumers in this situation or reiterate the support of that brand with the recovery of Puerto Rico,” she added.

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According to a press release, “the AAPPR called on its members, along with a wide group representing all communications media, to define the status of their operations and to begin to swiftly identify what opportunities were available to announcers and clients. They were also encouraged to serve as a forum, identifying and addressing challenges facing agencies as well as clients and media after the hurricane.”

The purpose of this initiative was “to alleviate concern, perceived in many advertisers, for what would undoubtedly represent a decrease in commercial activity, retail, and all other areas of consumption and service.”

This forum, which has continued to meet week after week, has been joined by representatives of the largest industries and those who play a crucial role in the communication mix, such as telecommunications companies, outdoor advertising and cinemas, among others, according to the release.

San Juan metro area expected to have power service stabilized by next week

This broad group will hold a presentation on Puerto Rico’s economic prospects following María’s passage, which the firms Estudios Técnicos and RGG Consulting will address, including impact on the economy, the recovery process, implications for employment and wages, possible scenarios for migration and variations in demand that will be seen in the different categories.

The presentation will be on Thursday, Oct. 26, at 9 a.m., and is free to advertisers and clients, advertising professionals, and marketing and public relations professionals.

On the other hand, the board will remain committed to maintaining the 2018 National Advertising Festival and the cycle of activities related to the AAPPR affiliation with the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, including the Young Lions competition.

The AAPPR board also comprises Carlos Laureano, vice president (General Manager of Grey P.R.); Liza Umpierre, secretary (Planning Director at De La Cruz & Asociados); Alexandra Caraballo, treasurer (Partner & General Manager at LIH Media); Edgardo Manuel Rivera, director of Cúspide 2018 (CEO at DDB Latina); Marta Siverio, director (General Manager at BBDO/OMD P.R.); Iván Santos, director (General Manager of Y&R San Juan); Sajo Ruiz, director (Partner at SGA); and Rachelle Whitten, executive director.

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