NEW YORK: Havas Formula has hired former MundoFox – recently rebranded to MundoMax – publicity and community affairs director Andy Checo as director of its HavasFormulatin Hispanic division.
Checo, who joined the firm two weeks ago, is reporting to Havas Formulatin VP Maria Amor. Some of his tasks include supporting clients, helping to manage the New York team, and planning and implementing programs. He will also work closely with Havas Formula president Michael Olguin on new business.
Olguin said that he and Amor both knew Checo and his areas of expertise, so when they were looking for someone to help lead the New York practice, he was the obvious choice. Amor is only in the New York office about two weeks out of every month, explained Olguin, so the agency needed someone to support its Hispanic work.
"There are probably fewer than half a dozen people in the Hispanic PR community that are more esteemed than [Checo] is, so we feel that he’s a huge addition to our organization," he added.
Checo succeeds former director Maria Ramirez, who left the firm, but Olguin said the position and responsibilities are expanded, even though the title is the same. He added that Checo will take on a much bigger leadership role than his predecessor.
In addition to knowing the Havas Formulatin team and the work it’s done with clients, Checo was attracted to the firm because of its diverse roster of clients, such as Zoosk, which he said is one of the only online dating sites doing outreach to Hispanics.
One of Havas Formulatin’s main priorities going forward – aside from chasing brands that are already focused on the Hispanic space – is to "introduce brands who have strongly considered it," said Olguin.
He added that, as a Mexican American, he thinks many PR agencies are ignoring the growing Hispanic market or thinking they can communicate to Hispanic consumers using traditional communications strategies.
"We’re big believers that you to have an understanding of the nuances of the community, which we really do," said Olguin.
Checo said he’s also looking forward to bringing his marketing experience from MundoFox into his work for clients since so many brands are looking for integrated marcomms initiatives today.
Prior to MundoFox, Checo, who currently serves as president of the Hispanic Public Relations Association’s National Board of Directors, worked at RL Public Relations. Before that, he had stints at Edelman, The Vidal Partnership, and Arcos Communications.
Representatives from MundoMax were not immediately available for comment about Checo’s departure.
In July, Fox sold its stake in the joint venture of MundoFox to its Colombian partner RCN TV Group, which renamed the brand MundoMax upon earning 100% ownership of the network.