La Comunidad Names Antoinette Zel Partner and Principal

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Milestone Comes as Agency Marks its Ten-year Anniversary and Experiences Its Strongest Year with Double Digit Growth in Revenue, Profits and Staff

Antoinette Zel, President and CEO of La Comunidad

When Antoinette joined the agency, she sparked a new dynamic that is helping us take the agency to the next level. She shared our vision and has helped crystallize it.

La Comunidad (http://www.lacomunidad.com), a global independent advertising agency, announced today that Antoinette Zel, who joined in the fall of 2008 as president of the agency, is now being made a partner and principal and will take on the newly-created position of CEO and President.

The announcement comes as the agency marks its ten-year anniversary, having been formed in 2001 by brothers Jose and Joaquin Molla. Zel has been instrumental in the agency’s progression, which includes double-digit growth in revenue, profits and staff over the past three years.

“When Antoinette joined the agency, she sparked a new dynamic that is helping us take the agency to the next level,” said Jose Molla, co-founder and co-chief creative officer of La Comunidad. “She shared our vision and has helped crystallize it, so as the agency evolves and we move into the next decade, it’s the perfect time for her to join us in taking a lead role in our long term development and future.”

“We founded the agency on the belief that it’s the unique contribution of people who make a creative place what it is, and Antoinette is a perfect example of this,” added Joaquin Molla, Co-Founder and Co-Chief Creative Officer. “She’s been a source of inspiration and growth, shares our business philosophy and continues to make us better every day.”

After switching from the client-side of the table, Zel joined La Comunidad in 2008 to take on the challenge of expanding it into a premiere global agency with top-tier clients. Having served for 13 years as President of MTV Networks’ Latin American portfolio of cable and digital networks and then working as head of strategy of cable and digital for NBC-owned Telemundo, Zel has brought visionary leadership, passion for youth culture and content, and savvy legal and business skills to La Comunidad that has grown the agency over the past three years across every area of business.

With a focus on bringing value to clients, Zel has been a catalyst in improving La Comunidad’s conversion rate of wins from agency reviews, landing 75% of agency pitches over the past three years. She’s been instrumental in securing global, digital and multicultural work for clients across diverse categories including consumer packaged goods, spirits, technology, retail, fashion and luxury automotive.

Highlights from the global/digital sector include winning the AOR digital business for Original Penguin fashion, being selected by Apple as its creative custodian for the brand’s work in Latin America, a digital engagement by Converse to create and curate 40 original art-based shorts which led to the joint participation of La Comunidad and Converse at Art Basel in Miami and serving as Volvo Cars global brand keeper and designing its new brand identity and guidelines. 

On the multicultural front, key wins include winning a competitive review for Crown Imports’ Corona, Modelo Especial and Victoria brands, securing Hispanic AOR responsibilities for Cadbury’s Trident and Stride brands, and handling a range of work for Kraft within the Hispanic market for the Ritz, Wheat Thins and Planters brands.

Fueled by global and digital work, the agency is projecting 40% growth in net revenue in 2011 against 2010 actuals.

Another key area of growth for the agency includes expanding its staff and capabilities. Doubling its staff since 2008, the agency now has over 90 full-time employees working from its five offices in Miami, New York and Buenos Aires. Over the past several years, key hires have been made to expand expertise in the areas of digital, media planning, connections planning and studio. Today, forty percent of the agency’s staff is specialized in the digital and multicultural arenas.

The historical core competency of the agency– creative—is also the strongest in the agency’s history with recent senior hires from around the world, many of which have joined from global agencies working on leading brands including Nike, Google, Audi, Beck’s Beer, J&J, Heineken, ESPN, Virgin, VISA, O’Neil, Sony PlayStation, Smirnoff, Mini-BMW, IKEA and Diesel.

As part of its ten year anniversary later this year, La Comunidad will launch a new website and blog, a revamped logo and an artistic renovation of its office headquarters in Miami aligned with its international art gallery ThisIsNotAGallery.

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Tanya Lopez
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