Marketing communications’ first minority-owned holding company created to ‘transform the industry’ | 10/15/2014, 11:13 a.m.

They key players are: Al Garcia-Serra, chairman/co-founder, MGCCOMM; Ahmad Islam, co-founder/managing partner, Commonground; Manuel E. Machado, CEO/co-founder, MGSCOMM; Manny Vidal, president/cEO, The Vidal Partnership and Sherman Wright, co-founder/managing partner, Commonground.

The new holding company is in phase one of a multi-phase rollout. The business model, a holding company without walls, leverages each of the players’ expertise in multicultural and millennial consumer groups to help client partners meet marketing and business objectives.

The strength of Commonground/MGS is said to rest on the “unequaled owner management team’s hands-on approach, their unique lens and understanding of the new marketplace – including the role of diverse populations and millennial culture, and a holistic approach to a truly integrated agency – one company, one bottom line.”

The formers of Commonground/MGS see a world where America is approaching a watershed moment; the tipping point when multicultural is the new mainstream.

“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.”

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

Commonground/MGS will have full service offices in New York, Miami, Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles, with nearly 300 marketers. The new entity maintains 100 percent minority ownership and management, with projected net revenues of $50 million.

The new entity includes:

Commonground – founded in 2004, a leading cross-consumer marketing agency committed to helping brands create authentic connections with consumers.

MGSCOMM – founded in 2003, 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 Vidal Partnership – founded in 1999, a full-service agency created to challenge the brightest minds at the C-suite level to earn their respect and business.

Cunningham Group – founded in 1998, an award winning communications firm offering multilingual public engagement and communications services for the public sector.

SWAY Public Relations – founded in 2003, 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

CG Works – founded in 2012, 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.

“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.

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