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DPZ&T (Brazil)

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DPZ&T is one of Brazil's best-known advertising agencies, and has served as something of a university for Brazil's marketing community. Many of the country's leading ad men and women received their training at what was originally known as DPZ before breaking away to establish their own agencies. Among them were the most successful ad executive of the 2000s, Nizan Guanaes of Grupo ABC, as well as 80s and 90s champion Washington Olivetto of W/Brasil. After years of evading the clutches of international groups, DPZ finally agreed to sell a controlling stake in July 2011 to Publicis Groupe. The French group acquired a 70% holding for around $120m, and merged the business with separate agency Taterka in 2015 to form DPZ&T. For now, the business retains separate status from other agencies owned by Publicis.


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See ranking of Brazil's Leading Agencies

DPZ was founded in 1968 by Roberto Duailibi, Francesc Petit and Jose Zaragoza, who had worked together at JWT and McCann. They quickly established their start-up as one of the country's most influential creative shops, and were the first Brazilian agency to win a Gold Lion award at Cannes in 1975. Over the years the three partners had continuously fended off bids from would-be purchasers. They came closest to selling out in the 1990s, when they formed a joint venture in Brazil with DDB. The US agency attempted repeatedly to persuade Dualibi, Petit and Zaragoza - by then aged in their 60s - to sell. After five years of stalled negotiations, DDB gave up, buying a majority stake in rival agency DM9 instead. Another attempt to buy the agency in 2000 and merge it with DM9 also failed. Other suitors have included WPP, Dentsu, Havas and Grey. In 2004, DPZ formed a joint venture in Brazil with Dentsu, named Dentsu Latino America; that partnership was dissolved in 2009 and Dentsu took full control of the venture. 

In 2002, DPZ was at the centre of an embarrassing row when it was stripped of two Cannes Golden Lion awards after it was revealed that the winning ads for Johnson & Johnson's KY gel had never been approved or used by the client, and that DPZ had not worked on the account since 1999.

Though still influential and widely admired, DPZ is no longer the powerhouse it once was. In 2014 it ranked as the local #21 agency by billings, some way behind all Publicis Groupe's other main Brazilian outposts. DPZ also controls a string of smaller offices and partners across Brazil, including entertainment marketing agency Agencia Triade, as well as satellite shops in Uruguay and Argentina. Despite the sale to Publicis, the three founders continued to play an active role in the running of the agency. However Francesc Petit passed away in September 2013, and Publicis began negotiations to buy out his shares from his estate, as well as those of Dualibi and Zaragoza, shortly afterwards.

In 2015, Publicis announced the merger of DPZ with rival creative shop Taterka, founded by Dorian Taterka in 1993. Publicis had acquired an initial stake in that business in 2010. Following the merger, Taterka's Eduardo Simon became CEO of the combined agency, with Tonico Pereira of DPZ as COO. Rafael Urenha is chief creative officer. DPZ's co-founder Roberto Duailibi (now in his 80s) and Taterka's Dorian Taterka both sit on the advisory board. Billings for DPZ in 2014 were equivalent to $560m, while Taterka's were around $370m. A combined total of $930 would put the agency among the top 13. The group's client portfolio includes several big names, not least financial services giant Itau, mobile service Vivo and McDonald's.

Last full revision 5th January 2016

* Archive page for historical reference only. This profile is no longer being actively updated. See active page here *

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