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Commonground/MGS, a minority-owned marketing communications holding company, is formed

(October 14, 2014) Marketing communications firms Commonground, MGCOMM and The Vidal Partnership, have announced their coming together to form Commonground/MGS, a wholly minority-owned holding company. The new umbrella firm combines eight firms and 300 employees in offices in New York, Miami, Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles, with projected net revenues of $50 million.

The principals managing the holding company are Al Garcia-Serra, Chairman and Manuel E. Machado, CEO, both co-founders of MGCCOMM; Ahmad Islam and Sherman Wright (pictured), both co-founders/Managing Partners of commonground; and Manny Vidal, President/CEO, The Vidal Partnership.

Current clients for Commonround/MGS include American Family Insurance, Bacardi, beIN Sports, BMO Harris, Coca-Cola, Florida Power & Light Co., HBO Latino, Hyundai Motor America, Illinois Lottery, ITT Technical Institute, Lincoln Financial Group, Miami Marlins, MilkPEP, MillerCoors, NBCUniversal, Outback Steakhouse, Primaloft, Southeast Toyota Distributors, TD Bank, The Florida Lottery, Tiffany & Co., and Verizon Wireless.

"While many companies are well intentioned, they need a partner and guiding light when it comes to understanding the importance and impact of culture and diversity to the bottom-line," added Machado.  "Moreover, with millennials being the most diverse, evasive and critical consumer group -- understanding cultural context is a must. We believe Commonground/MGS provides solutions to these challenges."

"At the end of the day, we are all entrepreneurs who have seen steady growth in arguably some of the most tumultuous times the industry has seen, because we aren't afraid to evolve. When we look to where the opportunities for growth are, our business model is in stride with what's happening today and what's coming tomorrow for both clients and talent," said Wright.   

The agency offers clients an integrated scope of services including account planning, advertising, brand strategy, consumer promotion, cultural consulting, content/property development, data & analytics, digital/mobile solutions, event marketing, production services, public affairs and communications, public relations, shopper marketing, and social media across multiple consumer segments, with an emphasis on millennials, the most ethnically and racially diverse generation.

"We all realize successfully connecting with diverse audiences and the ability to provide cohesive total market solutions is more than a 'nice to do' -- it has become a critical component of any successful organization's strategic imperatives," said Islam. "Our vision is to create a unique company that lives at the intersection where culture, content, technology and creativity meet."

"We will continue to invest in the next phase of incremental growth for Commonground/MGS to morph into a total market super power. We will seek to acquire companies and talent driven by an entrepreneurial spirit that, like us, want to dominate this new consumer space," added Garcia--Serra.

The eight firms being combined under Commonground/MGS are:

Commonground -- founded in 2004, is a leading cross--consumer marketing agency committed to helping brands create authentic connections with consumers. The agency was recognized as Advertising Age's 2012 Small Agency of the Year, named Black Enterprise's 2014 Advertising Agency of the Year, featured in Crain's Chicago Business 2014 Fast Fifty List, recognized in Inc.'s 2013 Hire Power Award list and featured on season two of AMC's "The Pitch" as a winner.

MGSCOMM -- founded in 2003, is an integrated consumer marketing communications agency offering a suite of services including: traditional and digital advertising, strategic planning, research, media planning and buying, creative development and account management. The agency ranked 12th largest U.S. Hispanic Agency by Advertising Age in the 2014 Hispanic Fact Pack, listed in the Hispanic Business 2014 Fastest Growing 100, and among the South Florida Business Journal 2014 50 Fastest Growing Companies.

The Vidal Partnership -- founded in 1999, is a full--service agency created to challenge the brightest minds at the C--suite level to earn their respect and business. Under the leadership of its President and CEO, Manny Vidal, the agency has been named: Advertising Age A--List Agency three times; Advertising Age Multicultural Agency of the Year twice; Advertising Age Five Star Winner; Adweek's Hispanic Agency of the Year and a three-time AHAA Creative Awards Best of Show winner.

Cunningham Group -- founded in 1998, is an award winning communications firm offering multilingual public engagement and communications services for the public sector.  The firm is a leader in public sector communications and was recognized by the State of Florida for developing a communications software platform that saved the state time and money.  Its CEO, Courtney Cunningham, is an attorney and served in the administration of George H.W. Bush.

SWAY Public Relations -- founded in 2003, offers a full spectrum of public relations services including: media relations, community relations, grassroots and event marketing, crisis management, blogger relations, social media, websites and content development in the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America.  The agency was listed among the U.S. Agency Rankings 2014 by PR Week.

CG Works -- founded in 2012, is an independent production company focused in digital production of an array of digital media -- web sites, banner ads, rich media applications, HTML emails, mobile and social media applications, also photo/video production, Illustrations, event production and print production.

Post Master-- founded in 2003, provides post--production services, utilizing state-of-the-art software and hardware to edit and render images and audio. The company offers on and off--line editing, compositing, 3--D animation, special effects, broadcast and rich media.

Run Wild Productions -- founded in 2003, offers full film and HD broadcast production services including: customized selection of national directors, lighting and sound experts, location scouting, permit clearances, set crew, talent casting, wardrobe specialists, lighting a camera equipment packages, coordination and logistics and total project management. The company has produced over 400 original commercials over the past five years.

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