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Class Notes

Advertising Pioneer Teaches UIW Students

Ernest Bromley
Ernest Bromley, Chairman and CEO of Bromley Communications, Inc.

Why is the chairman of the largest Hispanic ad agency in the United States teaching a class at the University of the Incarnate Word?

“Because I believe in what the H-E-B School of Business wants to do with the Lionel Sosa Visiting Professorship – bring people with years of practical work experience into the classroom where they can share what they’ve learned,” said Ernest Bromley, chairman and CEO of Bromley Communications, Inc., who was the Lionel Sosa Visiting Professor last spring. “Plus, I felt I had something to contribute.”

Bromley’s class, Leadership: the Key Ingredient to Success, included lectures from many local leaders, including politician Julian Castro, attorney Walter Cerna, ad guru Lionel Sosa and Bob Rivard, who is the managing editor of the San Antonio Express-News.

Students studied what Bromley considers to be three of the most influential books he has ever read in his years in business: “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz; “From Worst to First” by Gordon Bethune; and “Confessions of an Advertising Man” by David Ogilvy, which many consider a classic in the advertising industry. For their grade, students wrote three 10-page papers that reflected their grasp of the leadership skills of successful business people and how they developed them.

“It helps to balance what students learn from professors using standard textbooks,” said Bromley.

Bromley is a pioneer in advertising and marketing. As a market researcher in the 1970’s, he helped develop a marketing concept called “AIG” - Acculturation Influence Groups - that segments Hispanic consumers into levels of language and culture comfort zones. It affirms that some Hispanics prefer hearing ads in English, while others prefer them in Spanish, and that consumers can best be reached if advertisers talk to them in their preferred language. The concept has been used successfully across the country for 25 years.

When Bromley Communications, Inc. merged with Publicis, Sanchez & Levitan, the fourth-largest communications company in the world, it became the largest Hispanic ad agency in the U.S. Bromley Communications today has offices in the major Hispanic markets in the United States, including Miami, Los Angeles, New York and San Antonio, which is its headquarters.

The third year of the Lionel Sosa Visiting Professorship program in the H-E-B School of Business resumes in January 2006. The business school faculty and the school’s dean, Dr. Bob Ryan, are already planning to select the program’s third professor.

“It is amazing how many business giants there are in our city who would jump at the chance to teach at UIW,” says Robert Sosa, UIW Director of Foundation Corporate & Government Relations, and founder of the program. The teaching chair is named after his brother, Lionel. “Sometimes it seems that all we have to do is ask them.”