Interpublic's McCann Worldgroup and Martin Mercado have formed Mercado McCann, which is designed as a global creative agency hub that will partner with the McCann Worldgroup worldwide agency and marketing communications network.
Mercado McCann will be based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but with a mandate to work on global brands anywhere in the world, as well as on regional and local assignments. The joint venture agency will be separate from McCann’s existing shop in Argentina. Both McCann and Mercado McCann will work with a mix of local, regional and global clients, the agency said.
Mercado made headlines in 2012 for a highly controversial and politicized ad he created for the Argentinian government while he was creative managing director at Y&R Buenos Aires, part of WPP. The anti-British ad made during the run-up to the 2012 London Olympics featured Argentine field hockey player Fernando Zylberberg training in the Falklands. He is shown frowning at a British flag and running past British landmarks, such as an English pub and a red telephone booth and then running up the steps of a memorial dedicated to those who died fighting the war. The ad concludes with the tagline: “to compete on British soil, we train on Argentine soil.”
At the time, a referendum was being debated by the Falkland Islanders about whether to remain under British rule or become part of Argentina. The countries waged war over the islands in 1982 and remain part of the UK.
At the time, WPP CEO Martin Sorrell said he was “appalled and embarrassed” by the ad and Y&R issued an apology. It wasn’t clear how long Mercado stayed with Y&R after the controversy.
Earlier, he was Creative Director at McCann Erickson Argentina from 2002-2004. During that time, he created the “For Everyone” commercial for Coca-Cola that was translated across many markets and entered into Coca-Cola’s Hall of Fame in Atlanta. In 2013, “For Everyone” was selected as Argentina’s best TV commercial of the previous 30 years. His work for Coca-Cola has won awards at Cannes, the One Show, D&AD and the EFFIES. It has also appeared in the Super Bowl.
Pablo Walker, currently president of McCann Worldgroup Europe, and formerly president Latin America & Caribbean, said: “I have known Martin for more than 15 years, and I am very excited about having him back with us at McCann. Martin is a great partner as well as a brilliant creative leader. I am confident the combination of Mercado with McCann will be a great success and a great resource for our clients.”
Added Mercado: “McCann has given us the freedom to explore what is possible across any and all platforms and to partner with their agencies around the world and utilize their resources to create value and opportunity for their and our own clients. What an amazing and inspiring brief.”
In addition to Mercado, founding members of Mercado McCann who will join the new team include: Diego Tuya, Executive Creative Director; Dario Rial, Executive Creative Director; Agustin Coste Account Service Director; and Agustin Borgognoni, Production Director.