Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hispanic Population Explodes— Will Ad Dollars Follow?

By Laura Martinez -- Broadcasting & Cable

The nation’s largest minority is younger and bicultural, and poses a huge marketing challenge

During the week of April 4, two of the nation’s largest media players, News Corp. and NBC Universal, separately announced their own initiatives to better serve the needs of marketers and advertisers trying to reach the U.S. Hispanic market. That Monday, News Corp.-owned Fox Networks announced with great fanfare the creation of Fox Hispanic Media (FHM), a media unit housing three Spanish-language cable networks, as a way for advertisers to reach a larger range of Latinos. The next day, NBC Universal touted its newly created “Hispanics at NBC,” a sales and marketing initiative aimed at connecting marketers with the nation’s 50.4 million Hispanic consumers.

News Corp.’s Fox and Comcast-owned NBC are two of the largest non-Hispanic networks that are vying to capture a higher share of advertising dollars in a market that is too large— and too important—to ignore: U.S. Hispanics represented an estimated purchasing power of $1 trillion in 2010, a figure that is expected to grow to $1.5 trillion in 2015.

This vital picture became clearer in late March, when the U.S. Census Bureau released its national findings, showing that U.S. Hispanics now represent the nation’s largest minority, surpassing the 50 million mark and growing at unprecedented rates (more than 100% over the last decade, in some markets), not only in those states that have traditionally attracted Latin American immigrants, but in seemingly unexpected places such as Vermont, Maryland, Tennessee and even Alaska.

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