MDC Partners has added nine global affiliates to its network in Latin America from holding companies Anchor Worldwide, Grupo Garnier and The Lab.
The Lab is a full-service content creation agency in the Caribbean, while Anchor Worldwide and Grupo Garnier cover South America and the U.S. The groups cover markets including Aruba, Costa Rica, Colombia, Curaçao, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Spain.
The additions bring the total number of MDC affiliates to 23, almost halfway to its goal of reaching 50 global affiliates by the end of the year, Mark Penn, chairman and CEO of MDC Partners, said.
“We have [agency partners] in the United States, Europe, Canada and Asia, but we found as we [started to reach] into bigger global pitches that we didn't have the complete coverage that we really need for that, which is why we launched the affiliate program,” Penn said.
The Stagwell Group has one Latin American media agency MDC leverages called Locaria in Mexico City. Still, the region is a “hole in the marketplace” Penn said he is “anxious to fill.”
Through the affiliate program, MDC can enter into larger, global pitches in regions where it doesn’t have as much coverage, including Latin America, while allowing local affiliates to continue to operate with some autonomy.
MDC is leveraging a SaaS platform called Locate, developed by the Stagwell Group, which is pending a merger with MDC to allow affiliates to collaborate on global projects.
Several affiliates, including The Lab and Major Global, are also taking office space at the MDC campus at One World Trade Center in New York City.
“The affiliate program has elements of cross collaboration,” Penn said. “There's a whole new generation of firms out there, and so that's why we've been able to get so many affiliates so quickly.”
MDC has entered 6 active global pitches since starting the affiliate program, but declined to go into further detail.