Juan Carlos Ortiz was the first Latin American to become the president of an advertising agency in the United States when he led Leo Burnett USA in 2006.
In 2008, Ortiz was invited to join DDB Worldwide as CEO of the Latin America offices, where he quickly became the pioneer in uniting the company’s Latin markets worldwide (US, Latin America, and Spain) under a single vision of culture rather than geography. This movement has inspired Latin creativity and passion for becoming a world reference.
Under the leadership of Juan Carlos, the united team of DDB Latina has won more than 200 Lions. In 2021 and for the first time in its history, it was named Network of the Year at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, representing 50% of DDB Worldwide’s creative results. From a regional perspective, it has been recognized as Network of the Year in Ibero-America at El Ojo Festival and by the prestigious Adlatina Cream ranking in 2017, 2019, 2020, and 2021. It was also named the Most Effective Network at Effie LATAM 2021.
Juan Carlos has collected several awards worldwide, has been a member of the Global Effie Awards, and a speaker and president of the Jury at Cannes, El Ojo, El Sol, and Wave, among other festivals. He is known in his natal country for winning the first Gold Lion in Colombia’s history with the famous antidrug campaign film “Dandruff.” The World Economic Forum at Davos recognized Ortiz as a Young Global Leader for his professional accomplishments,
commitment to society, and potential to shape the world’s future. He is also an inductee of the Hall of Achievement by the American Advertising Federation.
Juan Carlos is the author of “Shorts,” a trilogy written from his mobile phone at 30,000 feet above the ground during his business trips around the globe. Forbes magazine listed the book as the postmodern book in 2011.
In 2014, he was invited to take upon the role of Creative Chairman of DDB Americas to merge the creative teams of North America, Spain, and Latin America, and in 2018, he led the strategy and creative campaign of the current President of Colombia, Iván Duque. In 2021, he was included for the second consecutive year in the select list of the 50 Forbes Creatives, which highlights the Colombian talent that makes a difference around the world.
Juan Carlos is also a columnist for El Espectador newspaper and Soho magazine, two of the most relevant publications in Colombia.