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AlmapBBDO (Brazil)

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Almap BBDO of Brazil is widely regarded as one of the world's top creative agencies, and a key hub for the global BBDO Worldwide network. It has featured for several years as one of the most awarded advertising agencies worldwide, not least as a result of work produced for its biggest account, Volkswagen, which it has handled for more than 50 years. It remains the only BBDO outpost in the world to handle the German car company, whose agency elsewhere is DDB.


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Av Rocque Petroni Jr 999
Sao Paulo, SP - CEP 04707-905
Tel: 55 11 2161 5600


Almap BBDO was headed for 20 years by joint CEOs Marcello Serpa and Jose Luiz Madeira. However they announced to retire from the business in 2015, handing over responsibility to a three-person team comprising chief creative officer Luiz Sanchez, chief strategy officer Cintia Goncalves and COO Rodrigo Andrade. Having ranked as the country's #2 agency by billings in 2012 behind long-established market leader Y&R, it has steadily slipped down the rankings, falling to the #5 spot in 2014 with billings of R$3.4bn ($1.5bn).

According to Gunn Report rankings for 2015, which combine the results of all the world's international creative competitions, Almap BBDO was the #3 agency overall. Big Won creative rankings for 2016 placed it as the #5 agency overall that year. It was the second most awarded outpost of BBDO, and the single most awarded Brazilian agency by far.

Almap is often considered to be Brazil's first homegrown advertising agency. It was launched in 1954 as Alcantara Machado Publicidade (abbreviated to Al-Ma-P) by Caio de Alcantara Machado, a brilliant entrepreneur and marketer with a vision for revolutionising the country's fast-expanding industry by promoting local manufacturers to an international audience through a series of huge trade fairs. The advertising agency remained something of a sideline to the exhibition business until Machado recruited Alex Periscinoto in 1960.

Periscinoto had been marketing manager of the country's leading department store chain, and had spent a good deal of time in New York, where he had become familiar with the new advertising techniques being introduced by Doyle Dane Bernbach and other such upstart agencies. He adopted Doyle Dane Bernbach's then-revolutionary policy of paring copywriters and art directors as a creative team instead of having them work separately. Periscinoto also made contact with German automobile manufacturer Volkswagen, by now one of Doyle Dane Bernbach's most celebrated accounts, and persuaded them to place the advertising for their fast-expanding Brazilian business with Almap.

Periscinoto was soon promoted to managing partner and the renamed Alcantara Machado Pescinoto Communicaoes became arguably the country's most successful agency for much of the 1970s and early 1980s. By the end of the latter decade, though, Almap had lost some of its sparkle, despite becoming the local affiliate of the BBDO network in 1988. In search of new creative blood, Periscinoto raided rival agency DM9 in 1993 for three rising stars of the local industry, creative duo Alexandre Gama and Marcello Serpa and account manager Jose Luiz Madeira. That same year, Gama and Serpa had won Latin America's first ever Grand Prix at Cannes with a stark but brilliant campaign for local beer Antarctica. The new managers successfully rekindled Almap's spark, re-establishing it as one of the country's top agencies. Gama left the agency in 1996 (to become CEO of Y&R Brazil, and later founder of Neogama, now the local BBH outpost in Brazil). In 1997, Alcantara and Periscinoto retired from the business, selling their shares to the management team. (Alacantara died in 2003; Periscinoto moved into politics for a while before later returning to the marketing industry). 

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