Programmatic in Latin America: Vanessa Gonzales of Omnicom Media Group -- The Jay Sears Interview

By Archived Rubicon Project Archives
Cover image for  article: Programmatic in Latin America: Vanessa Gonzales of Omnicom Media Group -- The Jay Sears Interview

This is the fourth in a series of interviews with leading buyers titled “Programmatic in Latin America.” The conversation with continue at The Festival of Media Latin America in Miami, Florida on Thursday, October 2, 2014. For more information, please go here.

Your Name: Vanessa Gonzales

Your Company: Omnicom Media Group

Your Title: Managing Director, OMG Digital Regional office (Latin America)

SEARS: Where do you read your daily news?

GONZALES: My phone is my first source of information. First I get to my email for major fires and then my news app, and of course Facebook. Radio has evolved as other forms of media. I would say that I listen to radio when I am driving. Then we can talk about radio online with Radio or Spotify.

SEARS: Today on average across Latin America -- out of each $1.00 spent on media (all media, not just digital) by one of your advertisers -- how much today is spent on automated or programmatic channels?

GONZALES: It is still a small percentage in the digital media mix, growing since 2013.

SEARS: What was this number in 2012?

GONZALES: We can say that 2012 was the testing year, evolving from ad networks buys to programmatic.

SEARS: What will this number be in 2016?

GONZALES: It is going to keep growing, overall [with] the increasing digital investment, we can estimate between 20%-30% [of digital spend].

SEARS: What is the mission statement of the Accuen trading desk?

GONZALES: Accuen is Omnicom Media Group’s programmatic agency. Our mission is to deliver the best programmatic technologies and solutions to the world’s leading marketers.

SEARS: Please tell us:

SEARS: Percentage increase, managed budget (media spend) 2013 vs. expected 2014 across Latin America:

GONZALES: We are expecting an increase compared to 2013 in the double digits

SEARS: How many employees are there in your Latin American organization?

GONZALES: We have a regional organization mainly focused on performance media buying and then the local operation in each market. For the regional organization we have a structure of 25 people dedicated to performance media buying. The programmatic team is imbedded into this team.

SEARS: What are Accuen’s three biggest Latin American initiatives in 2014?


1. Continuing to roll out the Annalect DMP. We invested a lot into a centralized data platform for all Omnicom Media Group clients so that they can dig into and activate on their data.
2. Building programmatic pipes to premium publishers. We’ve built on Omnicom Media Group’s close relationships with publishers to enable programmatic access to premium inventory. This has unlocked really interesting opportunities for our clients to use their own data in conjunction with relevant and high-quality publisher content.
3. Video is key to how we will consume content in the future, and especially so for younger generations. Part of the integration work we’ve done with publishers is talking to the established content brands clients [that] are already familiar with and up-and-comers like the multi-channel networks.

SEARS: By 2016, what percentage of your holding company’s Latin American media spend will be automated or programmatic?

GONZALES: In Latin America, as I mentioned before I see this number growing. It would be in the range between 20%-30% of our digital spend.

SEARS: Across Latin America, what markets are leaders? What markets are laggards?

GONZALES: We can say that there are markets that embrace the technology that we consider early adopters -- Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. We are also seeing fast emergence in Colombia and Chile. You could single out those five to six markets [that] are driving the adoption and growth.

SEARS: On the subject of business models, the best way to describe your company is:

a) Product organization -- i.e. you curate a media product for your agencies and advertisers
b) Service organization -- i.e. you recommend and manage best practices and best of breed products for your agencies and advertisers
c) Combination of both
d) Other

GONZALES: Service organization: We work with the best partners and technologies across the region to provide best business results to clients. We are agnostic and this is best of breed for all our clients and teams.

SEARS: What percentage of your agency or advertiser’s site direct budget (direct orders) has been automated?

a) Less than 10% (of site direct dollars)
b) 11-20%
c) 21-50%
d) Over 50%

GONZALES: Between 11-20%

SEARS: Which of the following will accelerate the automation of site direct (direct orders) budget? Pick all that apply:

a) Dynamic access to all publisher inventory [vs. just “remnant” or “auction”]
b) Ability to leverage publisher first party data
c) Ability to leverage advertiser first party data [against all publisher inventory, especially premium]
d) Availability of rich media, expandable units and larger IAB Rising Star formats
e) Ability to more easily curate audiences for specific advertisers across the premium content of multiple publishers
f) All of the above

GONZALES: Most of the above, as not all of them would apply to all clients and industries, and we have to include programmatic buying adoption within the client’s organization.

SEARS: Tell us a bit more about you.

SEARS: Who was one of your first mentors as a child?

GONZALES: My father. He owned his own company and I think that he inspired me to have an entrepreneurial spirit and that hard work would pay off.

SEARS: Money is not a concern. You no longer work in advertising or technology. What would you choose to do for work?

GONZALES: Oh … are the arts included? I think that I need to be in an environment where I have to be creative and express myself and be competitive. And I don’t think that there is a more competitive environment than trying to being an artist that can live from what [he or she does].

SEARS: What is your favorite restaurant in the entire world?

GONZALES: [That is] difficult. I am Peruvian so I would have to choose a restaurant in Peru and then one outside Peru. In Peru, TITI. [It has the] best Chinese food ever. [Outside Peru] La Cuchara de San Telmo in San Sebastian, Spain.

Thanks, Vanessa!

Jay Sears is Senior Vice President, Marketplace Development for the Rubicon Project. Sears workswith leadership and business unit heads across the company to expand Rubicon Project’s potential market. Sears has also served as General Manager, REVV Buyer, where he was responsible for global relations with the buy side including ad holding companies, ad agencies, agency trading desks and demand side platforms headquartered in North America. Jay can be reached at

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