Another AHAA conference has come and gone.

   By Jorge Mercado – Associate Vice President, Marketing and Communications – Americas / Prisa Digital Another AHAA conference has come and gone and all in all, I feel that Roberto Orci, Horacio Gavilan and the entire team stepped up to the challenge.  There was definitely some headroom made with this year’s conference.  It was great to see some of the familiar faces as well as several new ones. That being said, we still need to see more clients represented, more diversity and serious consideration when it comes to digital.  Truth is that we are all aware of the realities of the medium and it is still seen as an afterthought, pushed off to the last day of the conference, in a series of concurrent sessions, when many of these topics should be front and center. It was refreshing to see PR finally vindicated as a “real” discipline and how they now are the “True Champions” of the social and viral identity of many clients, not just the “Press Release People”. While advancements were made with the sessions, one can’t help but reflect on the accolades awarded as well.  This year Zubi Advertising, one of the last great true Hispanic shops left, once again swept several of the categories.  While there were several remarks in the audience, both in favor of the results or lambasting them, one thing is clear; we need to see greater diversity.  There is still a great deal of talent out there that continues to be left out of the limelight.  Whether this is due to the magnitude of the accounts they work on, lack of submissions or merely an oversight, I do not know. It was great to see Luis Albertini honored as well, albeit posthumously.  The truth is that without pioneers like him, the Hispanic Market would not be what it is today, heck I venture to say that there wouldn’t even be one.  He is truly the father of the Hispanic Advertising Agency and an inspiration to those that continued to define the segment, greats like Tere Zubizarreta did and Alex Lopez Negrete still does.  It is always a pleasure to see the pioneers of Hispanic Media as well, the greats like Eduardo Caballero and Carlos Barba who today still are visionaries and push boundaries in their respective disciplines.  It is great indeed to be able to know many of these individuals and be able to hear tales of those that helped define this market.  But what about some of the legends, the unsung heroes, those that helped grow the market through a different way, those that helped pave the road for the SBS’s, Univision’s and Entravision’s to grow?  What about the Media Directors, Buyers and Planners?  I call to AHAA to remember them as well.  Many of us know these names, Lula Olmedo, Sira Galan, Migdalia Santana and those that followed; Mary Miqueli, Isabella Sanchez, Silvia Alvarez, the list goes on… Many of them are still with us, although some not so visible.  Some of them have never been considered, but the truth is that all of them are just as worthy of the accolades bestowed upon the greats in Hispanic Media. I agree with Gene that “The Book” needs to be written and that it should be made while many of the legends are still around, but the book cannot be complete without the Media folks that helped put Hispanic on the map as well.  AHAA, are you in? By Jorge Mercado – Associate Vice President, Marketing and Communications – Americas / Prisa Digital

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