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Upfronts 2012: Starcom, Tapestry Put Univision Communications at ‘Forefront' with Multimedia Buy

In what is being billed as its largest single agency pact, Univision Communications has concluded a multiplatform buy with media agency Starcom USA and its multicultural shop, Tapestry. The agreement is Starcom USA and Tapestry's first 2012-13 upfront buy.

The deal with the U.S. Spanish-language media leader covers an array of properties, including broadcast networks Univision and TeleFutura; three cable networks, Galavision and the tlnovelas and Univision Deportes services that are currently available on Dish Network; local TV and radio stations; plus online, mobile and social video destinations.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but sources familiar with the negotiations peg its value ino the nine-figures.
According to the parties, the deal underlines Univision's ascension to the same consideration set as the English-language networks, and shows that media agencies like Starcom and Tapestry are willing to open up the marketplace to allow flexibility across languages. With the upfront deal, the agencies are following population and consumption trends to provide competitive advantages to its client roster, including Burger King, Mars/Wrigley and Kellogg.
The accord, which comes in advance of the broadcast upfront week, including Univision Communications' presentation in Manhattan on May 15 is part of the agencies' larger "Forefront" strategy that aims to evolve the upfront process into a marketplace that embodies the forefront of human experience.

"The upfront marketplace has the tendency to value tradition and legacy over innovation and evolution; we would rather it represent the forefront of new thinking and approaches to reaching consumers in an ever-changing landscape of content and platforms. The main dialogue of the past few weeks in the industry has centered around the need to break down the walls between traditional TV and digital video, which is absolutely critical, and a key element to this deal," said Mike Rosen, president of activation at Starcom USA, in a statement. "However, we know there are more, equally important walls that need to be torn down, including the ones between multicultural and general market, as well as one between national and local. This groundbreaking partnership with Univision Communications knocks down all those walls, including the shift of some traditionally 'general market' English language media investments to Univision."

Danielle Gonzales, executive vice president, managing director at Tapestry: "As English-language networks traditionally lead the pack in writing deals with major advertisers, Tapestry recognizes the importance of creating meaningful human experiences with all key audiences, including Latinos. With progressive and total market deals like this, Univision is poised to be real competition to English broadcasters."

For his part, David Lawenda, president of Advertising Sales and Marketing, at Univision Communications, believes the early upfront action signifies the changing demographic landscape in this country.
"This deal emphasizes that the shift happening in the marketplace is real - one that mirrors the changing demographics of this country and the new American reality the Hispanic boom is driving," he said. "Starcom USA and Tapestry recognize that Univision provides an effective solution to balance their clients' media plans and deliver all target consumers in today's multicultural and bilingual nation. Univision delivers extraordinary levels of engagement with a young, tech-savvy audience and marketers are actively re-balancing their media plans to tap into the growth that only Univision offers."