Dec. 6, 2021


Luciano Pascoe Rippey

Mexico

Luciano Pascoe Rippey

Director General, adn40

“We’re in a pendular movement, in a stalemate with not only the pandemic but also with a financial crisis within the media industry.”

BIO

Born in 1974, Luciano Pascoe is a sociologist with studies from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), the Latin American Social Sciences Institute (Flacso) and Georgetown University. He currently leads adn40, Mexico's most-watched television news network, and is also Director of Editorial Strategy at Grupo Salinas, a Mexican group of dynamic, fast growing, and technologically advanced companies in media, retail, banking, telecommunications and other sectors. He also chairs Politico.Mx, a digital media that focuses on politics and elections in Mexico. With a deep-rooted passion for politics, he has been responsible for numerous electoral campaigns at both national and state levels. In 2006, he headed the presidential campaign for the Alternativa Socialdemócrata y Campesina Party, where he also served as national spokesperson, representative before the General Council of the Federal Electoral Institute and National Vice President of the party. As a journalist, he had weekly collaborations in national newspapers such as La Razón and La Crónica de Hoy, where he also created the digital branch.


Can you share your perspective on the state of the Mexican economy at the moment?

We're in a pendular movement, in a stalemate with not only the pandemic but also with a financial crisis within the media industry. When President López Obrador arrived, he took many decisions on how to distribute the government's advertising resources, which affected the media because we had become complacent on how we handled advertising. In the past, government was a big client, and hence it was not necessary to find other sources of revenue. This led to a transformation in the media industry, and many news outlets had to let go journalists or back office staff that were doing research. I don't' know any media outlets in Mexico that haven't had to reduce their staff in this last few years. Then, during the pandemic there was a sharp increase in media consumption, so audiences grew dramatically because everyone was looking for information. In 2Q and 3Q2020, we saw fantastic numbers in terms of audience in TV, social media, and website content. Nonetheless, we were unable to monetize it because advertisers decided not to spend their money until they knew what was going to happen. In fact, advertising fell by 21% for TV Azteca, which is significant for a corporation this size.

Now that the economy is trying to actively reactivate, what is your outlook now for advertising?

It has certainly picked up, as we can see a rebound for TV Azteca and adn40. We are slightly over 2019's income, though I'm not sure it will be enough to subsidize the huge deficit of 2020. Due to the pandemic we were forced to make cuts and adjustments, but it also led us to think outside the box and incorporate products into the screen and merge digital and traditional salesforces. Thanks to this, today we sell target audiences instead of only TV ads. Our clients are also trying to jumpstart their businesses, and everyone wants to join efforts to communicate faster, better, and more efficiently. For example, we are using QR codes that allow them to track where their clients are coming from and attract new ones, as well as knowing which ads are most successful.

How do you make sure people are interacting with the QR codes or registration forms?

First, campaigns have to be interesting enough, and second, we apply additional strategies that one can use in news networks. We can offer CEOs or CMOs interviews through which they can explain what their companies are about, what are they doing, and how they got through the pandemic. We provide a QR code that leads viewers directly to their webpage. We give them an opportunity to establish their standing as a company, which is extremely valuable because customers buy from companies not only because they need their products or services but also because they have a positive brand perception and feel good buying from them. That is how we're trying to ensure there's a deeper engagement than just watching an ad.

What has adn40 done to diversify its portfolio so it does not depend on the public sector like it used to?

First, we adjusted operations and evaluated the surplus in terms of staffing and operations to reduce costs. The second thing we did was to conduct a thorough review of our inventory, because we have a certain number of minutes we can sell, and we were not using those minutes consistently. Thus, we initiated a huge audit to see where and how we could enhance carriers' performance. The third thing we did is sell audiences as a whole. We have 9.5 million unique visitors to our webpage per month, almost 2 million followers on Facebook, 900,000 followers on Twitter, 400,000 on YouTube, and 250,000 on Instagram. All these platforms allow us to reach different audiences, so we package them and offer them as an add-on. We can target the audiences a company is looking for, which allows communication to be more efficient than just being on TV. Every day, about 7 million people watch our channel and we are the most widely transmitted TV channel in 290 cities across the country. We also decided to have more horizontal strategies and started building alliances with all sorts of content distribution companies. Thanks to it, we are the only news channel that offers live streaming on Amazon Prime, Roku, Apple TV, and other platforms. This allows us to reach different sectors of the audience that don't necessarily watch open or cable TV. We've also developed alliances with 11 media outlets and social media like TikTok in order to be more robust in terms of our capacity to send messages across diverse platforms.

What will be your main goals and priorities for the rest of the year and 2022?

We aim to be a reference in terms of media consumption: a news outlet that people can trust and rely on. We've made great progress and today we're among the top two most trusted news channels nationwide, but we still need to continue building recognition over our main competitors. The second goal is to become more robust in terms of being an intermediary between society and decision makers like politicians, journalists, and business people. Today, a disconnection exists between society and decision makers, and we can certainly help to reduce this gap. For example, in the last electoral process, we had over 470 political candidates interviewed on adn40, which demonstrates that candidates recognize us as a vehicle to communicate and engage effectively with their publics.

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