October 14, 2014

Industry trailblazers, Al Garcia-Serra, Chairman/Co-Founder, MGCCOMM; Ahmad Islam, Co-Founder/Managing Partner, commonground; Manuel E. Machado, CEO/Co-Founder, MGSCOMM; Manny Vidal, President/CEO, The Vidal Partnership and Sherman Wright, Co-Founder/Managing Partner, commonground - announced the formation of the industry’s first wholly minority-owned holding company, phase one of a multi-phase rollout. This unique model, a holding company without walls, leverages each of their expertise in multicultural and millennial consumer groups to help client partners meet marketing and business objectives.

The strength of Commonground/MGS rests on the unequaled owner management team’s hands-on approach, their unique lens and understanding of the new marketplace - including the role of diverse populations and millennial culture, and a holistic approach to a truly integrated agency - one company, one bottom line.

Commonground/MGS operates in a world where America is approaching a watershed moment; the tipping point when multicultural is the new mainstream. This new company believes businesses need to focus and invest financially and intellectually to win in this new marketplace where multicultural insights lead general market strategies for growth, innovation, sustainability and a competitive advantage; opening up a world of opportunities for clients who are ready to look at the US with new appreciation.
 “We all realize successfully connecting with diverse audiences and the ability to provide cohesive total market solutions is more than a ’nice to do’ - it has become a critical component of any successful organization’s strategic imperatives,” said Islam. “Our vision is to create a unique company that lives at the intersection where culture, content, technology and creativity meet.”

“While many companies are well intentioned, they need a partner and guiding light when it comes to understanding the importance and impact of culture and diversity to the bottom-line,” added Machado.  “Moreover, with millennials being the most diverse, evasive and critical consumer group – understanding cultural context is a must. We believe Commonground/MGS provides solutions to these challenges.”

Adds creative director/partner, Jorge Moya, “Now more than ever it’s important to look at cultural factors that influence and often change consumer behaviors.  We believe our strength lies in identifying and anticipating these cultural shifts and how we shape brand messages for our client partners.”

Commonground/MGS— with full service offices in New York, Miami, Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles —brings together a diverse array of nearly 300 passionate marketers who truly understand the new marketplace, which leads to the development of strategies and ideas that drive client business growth. The new entity maintains 100% minority ownership and management, with projected net revenues of $50 million.

This new entity brings market expertise, industry reputation, award-winning creative and innovations. With these resources, Commonground/MGS is poised to not only be at the forefront of the new marketplace conversation, but do something transformational in the space while bringing new solutions to an industry-wide problem.   The new entity includes:

Commonground – founded in 2004, is a leading cross-consumer marketing agency committed to helping brands create authentic connections with consumers. The agency was recognized as Advertising Age’s 2012 Small Agency of the Year, named Black Enterprise’s 2014 Advertising Agency of the Year, featured in Crain’s Chicago Business 2014 Fast Fifty List, recognized in Inc.’s 2013 Hire Power Award list and featured on season two of AMC’s “The Pitch” as a winner.

MGSCOMM – founded in 2003, is an integrated consumer marketing communications agency offering a suite of services including: traditional and digital advertising, strategic planning, research, media planning and buying, creative development and account management. The agency ranked 12th largest U.S. Hispanic Agency by Advertising Age in the 2014 Hispanic Fact Pack, listed in the Hispanic Business 2014 Fastest Growing 100, and among the South Florida Business Journal 2014 50 Fastest Growing Companies.

The Vidal Partnership - founded in 1999, is a full-service agency created to challenge the brightest minds at the C-suite level to earn their respect and business. Under the leadership of its President and CEO, Manny Vidal, the agency has been named: Advertising Age A-List Agency three times; Advertising Age Multicultural Agency of the Year twice; Advertising Age Five Star Winner; Adweek's Hispanic Agency of the Year and a three-time AHAA Creative Awards Best of Show winner.
 
Cunningham Group – founded in 1998, is an award winning communications firm offering multilingual public engagement and communications services for the public sector.  The firm is a leader in public sector communications and was recognized by the State of Florida for developing a communications software platform that saved the state time and money.  Its CEO, Courtney Cunningham, is an attorney and served in the administration of George H.W. Bush.

SWAY Public Relations - founded in 2003, offers a full spectrum of public relations services including: media relations, community relations, grassroots and event marketing, crisis management, blogger relations, social media, websites and content development in the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America.  The agency was listed among the U.S. Agency Rankings 2014 by PR Week.

CG Works – founded in 2012, is an independent production company focused in digital production of an array of digital media – web sites, banner ads, rich media applications, HTML emails, mobile and social media applications, also photo/video production, Illustrations, event production and print production.
 
Post Master – founded in 2003, provides post-production services, utilizing state-of-the-art software and hardware to edit and render images and audio. The company offers on and off-line editing, compositing, 3-D animation, special effects, broadcast and rich media.

Run Wild Productions - founded in 2003, offers full film and HD broadcast production services including: customized selection of national directors, lighting and sound experts, location scouting, permit clearances, set crew, talent casting, wardrobe specialists, lighting a camera equipment packages, coordination and logistics and total project management. The company has produced over 400 original commercials over the past five years.

 “At the end of the day, we are all entrepreneurs who have seen steady growth in arguably some of the most tumultuous times the industry has seen, because we aren’t afraid to evolve. When we look to where the opportunities for growth are, our business model is in stride with what’s happening today and what’s coming tomorrow for both clients and talent,” said Wright.  

“We will continue to invest in the next phase of incremental growth for Commonground/MGS to morph into a total market super power. We will seek to acquire companies and talent driven by an entrepreneurial spirit that, like us, want to dominate this new consumer space,” added Garcia-Serra.

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