Padilla displaces Weber as U.S. AOR for Spanish wine regions

Multimillion dollar scope of work encompasses PR, marketing, advertising, social, digital, and point of sale.

Spanish regions are well known for their Tempranillo and Verdejo grapes (Image: José Berdón).
Spanish regions are well known for their Tempranillo and Verdejo grapes (Image: José Berdón).

NEW YORK: Padilla has been named U.S. communications and marketing AOR for two Spanish wine regions, Ribera del Duero and Rueda.

In June, the association representing the two Spanish regions consolidated U.S. duties to Padilla for a multimillion dollar campaign promoting their grapes and wines, according to the agency’s account lead, VP Pablo Olay. It removed Weber Shandwick from its roster at that time.

Ribera del Duero and Rueda decided to consolidate the account and Padilla was chosen from an unknown number of agencies that was narrowed to three in the final round of pitching. Padilla was chosen to lead on all areas of marketing, including PR, advertising, social media, digital, and point-of-sale activation.

At Padilla, Olay runs a team of 5-6 people on the accounts, with consultants working in the field, he said.

A Weber Shandwick spokesperson said via email that the firm declined to participate in the pitch: "The client was looking to concentrate its focus in the U.S., primarily on trade audiences, and as we are not a trade agency we chose not to participate in the pitch."

Previously, the IPG firm handled consumer media relations, influencer marketing, digital advertising, website design, and database management. Those responsibilities have now been transferred to Padilla, which has handled the regions’ b2b communications for two years.

Padilla was retained in 2016 for U.S. trade marketing and courted retailers, distributors, importers, and restaurants to increase the regions’ presence. Sales across all categories grew between 20% and 100%.

"These two regions from Spain are well known in Europe [but not] the U.S.," Olay said. "There’s great potential because their wines, in taste profile, are very similar to what U.S. consumers’ palates are used to."

The Ribera del Duero region is known for its Tempranillo grapes and red wines, Rueda for its Verdejo grapes and white wines.

Padilla also represents Prosciutto di Parma, The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup producers, Bordeaux Wines, and Hass Avocado Board. In the U.S., the agency works with US Highbush Blueberry Council and Virginia Wine.

Earlier this month, Padilla was acquired by Avenir Global, a Montreal-based holding and management company. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Chair and CEO Lynn Casey was bumped up to the role of chair, while Matt Kucharski was named president. They report to Avenir president and CEO Jean-Pierre Vasseur. The firm will retain its brand.

Padilla recorded revenues of $40 million in 2017, up 2% from the year prior. It has 210 employees and six offices in the U.S.

* This story was updated on 8/23 with comment from Weber Shandwick that stated the agency did not take part in the repitch for the business.

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