MWW Acquires West Coast LGBT Specialty Firm

MaciasNew Jersey’s MWW continued its ongoing expansion today with the acquisition of Macias Media Group, a Los Angeles firm that specializes in serving the LGBT audience. The move scored a mention in the New York Times via ad specialist Stuart Elliott.

Founder, namesake and former Here Media EVP Stephen Macias started the firm, which will become part of MWW, in September 2012. In his new role, Macias will work from the firm’s L.A. and New York offices as senior vice president and leader of the LGBT practice.

Here Media publishes The Advocate, Out, Out Travel and other gay-focused properties like Here TV and, with recent big-name campaigns including promo for the Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black. Until the announcement Macias served as their agency of record; they will now be MWW clients.

You may recall that MWW extended its influence abroad in November by purchasing London-based Parys Communications, and this announcement marks the firm’s most aggressive move into the LGBT market.

In terms of industry trends, the merger reflects brands’ growing interest in engaging with LGBT Americans beyond simply featuring same-sex couples in their ads; MWW CEO Michael Kempner tells Elliott it is “an area I have been particularly interested in”. From JP Schuerman, EVP and GM of MWW’s West Coast Region:

“Recent progress in marriage equality is simply providing greater public permission for these brands to engage this highly influential consumer base. Our new practice brings the access to these influencers and provides the expertise required to reach them in a meaningful way.”

Macias himself says:

“With the crumbling walls of discrimination falling for LGBT Americans,  the coveted LGBT consumer marketplace is even more sought after. Combining Macias Media Group’s specialized experience and network with MWW’s accomplished firm creates an LGBT practice like few others in the U.S. and abroad.”

In other words, the race to build lasting relationships with the LGBT community is on as its collective buying power approaches one billion dollars per year in the United States alone. To the winners go the spoils.

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.