The economic downturn has had a negative impact on numerous parts of the economy, but Hispanic consumers (now 20 percent of the population or 50 million people) are still seeing good focus. Ad budgets are shifting often into Spanish-language media at the expense of general market consumer spend even in areas like financial services and pharmaceuticals.
According to a list by IBISWorld, of the top 10 U.S. industries in which the Hispanic market share is growing the fastest, ad agencies was number five. “You’re seeing a lot of general-market agencies building their business at the expense of multicultural agencies,” said one industry insider.
Roberto Orci, chair-elect of the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies, notes that in certain areas in the U.S., and for certain brands, the Hispanic market is being considered the general market. Given Hispanic consumers, as a group, now have more discretionary spending power than any other multicultural segment, some are wondering why marketers are being so slow to delivered by the recent Census findings.
“One of the issues we face is, ‘How do we get marketers beyond the 4-5 percent levels of spending ’ Their budgets should be two-to-three times bigger,” says Ingrid Otero-Smart, CEO of Interpublic’s Casanova Pendrill. “Competition from general-market agencies would be a moot point if that was the case—there would be enough business for everyone.”