Hispanic Marketers Hit Hay Day Amidst Ad Recession

Feb 21, 2002

Despite the slump in overall ad spending, agencies that target Hispanic consumers are scrambling to keep up with ever-growing campaigns, according to BusinessWeek. Bravo Group Chairman Daisy Exposito-Ulla and many of her peers at other Hispanic-targeted agencies are buried in work, confirmation that they’ve finally earned a significant share of big corporate marketing budgets. The notion of doubling office space and staffing up is sheer fantasy to most ad execs in these austere times.

“The Census was the saving grace for the marketplace,” says Exposito-Ulla, whose agency, owned by the giant holding company WPP Group, is the largest Hispanic specialist. The 2000 Census report released last year jolted marketers with the realization that Hispanic Americans constitute a bigger, more widely dispersed, and more affluent market than many had imagined. The survey showed that the number of U.S. Hispanics grew by 58 percent in the past decade, to 35.3 million. Moreover, Hispanics’ buying power increased 118 percent, to $452 billion, from 1990 and 2001, according to the University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth. That far outpaced the 68 percent growth in non-Hispanic buying power, to $6.6 trillion. Such data have made it hard for marketers to ignore this segment, recession or not.

Moderator Comment: How can retailers market themselves
more effectively to immigrants and first-generation Hispanic-American consumers?

The retailing and consumer marketing community has clearly identified Hispanics as the fastest-growing ethnic group in the United States. These marketers do themselves a disservice, however, if they fall into the trap of thinking of Hispanics as a single homogenous group.

Hispanic consumers (like all others) have their behavior shaped by their country of origin, how long they have been in the U.S., their desire to be or act American and numerous other factors such as age, income and education. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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