Oglivy chairman Moses Mercado and senior vice president Dean Aguillen at the lobbying firm’s Washington office. (Jeffrey MacMillan/For Capital Business)

Oglivy Government Relations is courting clients in Spanish-speaking countries and U.S. cities with large Hispanic populations, and as part of the campaign has launched a Spanish-language Web site to brand itself as a go-to shop for companies with ties to the Hispanic business and political community.

Although lobbyists commonly represent foreign governments, Ogilvy appears to be the first of the District’s major lobby shops to create a foreign language site to market itself to clients abroad. Ogilvy, which reported $9.5 million in midyear revenue (making it the eighth most profitable lobby firm in Washington), says the move is part of a broader effort to pitch to companies based in Latin and South America looking to do business in the United States. The firm also plans to travel this year to regions heavily populated by Hispanic Americans, including Houston, Dallas and Austin, to drum up new business from U.S companies.

“We thought it was a great time to go after that niche,” said Moses Mercado, chairman of Ogilvy, which has represented U.S. clients including Highstar Capital, which owns Ports America, in opening facilities in Mexico. “We were working in Latin America for U.S. companies and thought, why not take that same concept and market ourselves to these companies in Latin America and Europe that are Spanish-speaking and offer our services?”

The Web site, launched last week in conjunction with the weeklong meeting of the leadership development program Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, is a small financial investment, costing less than $15,000 to produce in-house. But the firm hopes its symbolic value is not lost on clients.

“All these multinational companies have people who speak English but it’s the added touch, the cultural sensitivity ... speaking in their main language is important,” Mercado said.

With 15 registered lobbyists, Ogilvy is one of the smaller outfits on K Street, and has consistently ranked in the region’s top 10 lobby firms by revenue since 2007. Two of the firm’s leading lobbyists, Mercado and senior vice president Dean Aguillen, are major players in Democratic politics and part of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Board. Mercado previously served as an adviser to Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry (D) during the 2004 presidential campaign and as a senior policy adviser to then-House Democratic Leader Dick Gephardt; Aguillen was previously a senior adviser to then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

“We’ve never really marketed ourselves to that strength we have,” Mercado said. “We’re not perceived as a Hispanic group. People like the Hispanic Caucus or other Hispanic groups never saw us as go-to guys. Once we started the idea ... it allowed us to get a little edge.”