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The U.S. Hispanic Advertising Market will grow between 4%-5% in 2012, according to a survey conducted by Portada. Portada interviewed 50 client, agency and media executives (see box below).

Expected  Growth Rate of Hispanic Advertising in 2012

Percentage of Respondents

-10% to 0%


0% to 5%


5% to 10%




Average Growth Rate:


The expected Hispanic market growth rate is relatively high, particularly in the light of renewed concerns of a double dip recession in the U.S. which may affect 2012 overall U.S. advertising. The latest Zenith Optimedia forecast shows the overall U.S. advertising market growing by a meager 2.2% in 2012 to US$ 155 billion.

The economy is cited as one of the main risks going forward. “As the recession continues, it will force companies to tighten their purse strings and look for efficiencies in targeting the Hispanic  marketplace”, says Lateef Sarnor, Industry Practice Head for the Multicultural category at AOL.. Most survey respondents expect Automotive, Financial (particularly Insurance) to be among the strongest Hispanic advertising categories in 2012. Telecom is expected to continue being a strong category.

Hispanic oriented political advertising related to the 2012 presidential elections will also play a role: “We will probably see some political ads spill over from the general market side into Hispanic media however the strongest categories will most likely be financial, more specifically from Insurance, as well as from Auto as Detroit most likely will continue to unveil some cool new products. Another big category will be Telecom and we are estimating that to be flat”, says John Trainor, General Manager of Tribune s Hoy Chicago. The opportunity for Corporate America to substantially grow revenues by targeting the more than 50 million Hispanic consumers can not be overemphasized. As Trevor Hansen, CEO of EPMG 360, states “the Hispanic market as championed by the 2010 Census offers brands a front row ticket to one of the fastest growing markets in the world, right here in the domestic US.” Many marketers do not understand this yet. The main “challenge going forward continues to be having people with decision making power and budgets who fully understand how to activate against the Hispanic market,” says Enedina Vega, Publisher, Meredith Hispanic Ventures.

Mistaken Perceptions
One of the main challenges to the growth of the Hispanic marketing sector, in the words of Carl  Kravetz, president of Vida y Salud Media Group, is the “growing (mistaken) perception among advertisers and agencies that general campaigns cover everyone, fueled by the results of the 2010 Census, which showed that the growth in the Latino population is coming from births, not immigration”. Similarly, Xavier Mantilla, Media Director at the Vidal Partnership notes that there needs to be an extended “belief in putting money (more than 5%) towards the U.S. Hispanic market.” Federico Subervi, Ph.D. Professor & Director at the Center for the Center for the Study of Latino Media & Markets sees a challenge in the “limited understanding that the advertising
as well as the marketing research companies have regarding the complexity of the Latino markets (plural; there is not just ONE type of Latino market)¨

Mistaken Perceptions
According to Carmen di Rienzo, until recently CEO of V-Me Media Group, education of marketers and  advertisers is still needed. “We in the Hispanic market still have considerable work to do in educating advertisers about the dynamics, psychographics, and emotional touch points of the Hispanic consumers. Told correctly, the story will persuade advertisers that they need to allocate higher percentages of their budgets more consistently to a range of Hispanic media to fully  connect with Hispanic consumers.”

…Client Infrastructure
“Educating clients also includes to get them ready to have the right infrastructure to hold our multicultural marketing efforts accountable,” says EPMG s Hansen. “For clients that measure our efforts we are not cut in the down economy, rather our budgets grow. Whereas, clients with a different approach to measurement will still cut multicultural first, despite the growth index and lower cost to market approach. And with that, we as marketers need to continue to invest the data that creates and builds the business opportunity and develop strategies that take our clients into the conversation and their Multicultural initiatives to the next level.”

Media Vehicles
Regarding preferred media vehicles in 2012, one common denominator is the increased need for (multiplatform) 360 solutions. TV will still be the largest medium, however most respondents see digital and mobile as the ones growing the most. According to Lupe de los Santos, Group  Manager—Hispanic Marketing Communications, Clorox, National TV & Digital will be the  strongest growing Hispanic media in 2012.

Says Patty Marrero, SVP and Director of Sales for Vie Media, The Spanish-language television space will continue to grow as more options are available to consumers. Fragmentation of viewership will continue to evolve as consumers choose to watch alternatives and follow the path of ELTV. Product placement, hosted pitches and segment sponsorships on television that can then be available on digital platforms will become a must for advertisers.”


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