This week, I was honored to be named to the board of AHAA, the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies. Having co-founded a Hispanic advertising agency over 15 years ago, I see the opportunity to serve on AHAA’s board as a huge aha moment in my Hispanic marketing career.

As 2016 ends, there’s no denying that the booming Hispanic market made headlines – in the political and economic sectors as well as in digital and consumer trends. But what does 2017 mean for Hispanic marketing? At AHAA, we believe we will see an increase in multicultural media spend by just under ten percent with digital accounting for about a third of that growth. Still lagging behind the general market, digital media investment is on the brink of an explosion in the Hispanic and multicultural sectors, and we anticipate big gains in search advertising and live video formats in the next two years.  By: AHAA Chair Linda Gonzalez, president of viva partnership

Yes, consolidation will be a major theme -- and it's not just about the traditional food chain of small to medium to larger independent to holding company. The consultants are now out there too, as Accenture's recent purchase of Karmarama showed. So to get bigger billings, revenue will have to be bought in the hope that a big bid comes in from a larger agency, or consultancy, which can offer some form of protection from billings heading down. It's kind of an endless circle, isn't it?

LAPIZ was named the official agency of record for Advance Auto Parts' general market business. The agency has managed the retailer's Hispanic market work since 2014, and will now lead marketing efforts for both general and Hispanic markets across North America.

Two things we heard a lot about in 2016 were “autonomous cars” and “bots,” but rarely in the same sentence. True, they both share the common thread of AI, which powers the “self” in self-driving cars (computer vision, decisioning) and the chatty personalization of bots. But that’s where the similarity ends, because most bots don’t employ real AI or machine learning, but are just collections of “if-then” statements in a new package.

Make your bed, then sleep in it. Right? Well, whenever something happens in the advertising industry that brands don't like, it's well worth a little more self-examination behind the causes. Sure, big agencies are not exactly innocent creatures who should avoid blame -- but let's be honest, 2016 has been the year of blaming agencies for everything under the sun. So how about a reality check?

New business development is often a difficult task for ad agencies. In addition to the day-to-day upkeep required for current clients, agencies must also constantly perform the challenging work of searching out new opportunities and partners. According to research, the process doesn't appear to be getting any easier.

Given the healthy short- and long-term impact of media advertising, marketers should realign a share of promotional dollars to media to stop brand erosion. This shift will enable marketers to reinforce brand equity, support shopper loyalty and drive consistent brand growth.

Ten years ago, the partners at our ad agency did an offsite meeting to plan our future. We were small and scrappy and talent-laden, but like the vast majority of agencies, we lacked any real point of differentiation.

Partnership for a Healthier America has selected Pólvora Advertising to provide guidance in marketing and advertising in the Los Angeles market.  

I spent last week in New York and met with a variety of media owners. I sat with a very large local radio network, a large national outdoor company, a company that sells targeted TV ads, and a digital advertising platform.  By Maarten Albarda

Programmatic plans require fluid budgets and adaptability. Control freaks may be tempted to pre-plan every tactic of their campaigns, but it’s better to start broad, have a thesis on what could work, observe performance, and optimize your campaign based on that data.

For years, the AICE — the trade group for independent post-production houses — has been loudly complaining about the ad industry practice of “check bids,” and other unfair practices utilized by Adland in the course of producing commercials for their clients. Now it appears that the U.S. Department of Justice is looking into the matter.

Successful marketers know that people engage with ideas that are meaningful so they try to create powerful, insights-based campaigns that resonate with their target audience. Achieving success isn't easy, and game changing work can be thwarted by any number of pressures. But marketers who develop a consistent, disciplined approach to creative development increase their probability of generating stronger brand value and business performance–the ultimate success criteria.  By Ann Green - Managing Partner Creative Development Practice at Kantar Millward Brown

All sorts of news was vying for attention this past week.