General-market’s top media buying and planning agencies are adding yet another event to their already cramped Upfront agenda in May. This time they will have to make room for a Cinco de Mayo digital feast, or rather “Clicko-de-Mayo” celebration, organized by the New York City-based Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) on May 5th, 2011.

The one-day event, which was to be held originally at the IAB offices in New York but grew so quickly to make organizers search for a bigger venue, seeks to lure general-market buyers and planners to the Hispanic digital opportunity, something that became more urgent after last week’s 2010 Census figures were released, showing Hispanics not only as the nation’s largest –and youngest- minority (representing over 50.4 million people in 2010) but also the fastest-growing.

“We are going to debunk many myths, and make sure general market agencies follow the Hispanic audience,” Seneca Mudd, IAB’s Director for Industry Initiatives told Portada. “This is no longer a niche issue; this is a general-market issue,” said Mudd, a former Yahoo executive about the upcoming event, whose agenda has not yet been released to the public. The IAB is the trade association for digital communications, a sector estimated at over $25 billion.

Sponsored by Telemundo, Terra, ImpreMedia and Univision, the appropriately labeled Clicko-de-Mayo event is expected to gather in one place some of the biggest names in media buying and planning, as well as CMO’s of Fortune 100 companies in the categories of consumer packaged goods, automotive, electronics, travel, tourism and retail. These agencies, explains Mudd, traditionally put their multicultural strategy and budgets in a corner, but “this doesn’t make sense any more,” says Mudd, an MBA graduate from the Harvard Business School.

“We know the AHAA agencies very well,” says Mudd, who is fluent in Spanish. “So our goal this time is to reach Madison Avenue and educate them on the U.S. Hispanic market opportunity.” Although the names and agencies attending the event are being kept confidential, Mudd assured Portada they include representatives from the nation’s leading agencies.

Though Hispanic –and digital spend overall– still don’t match the time spent by consumers in media, Mudd sees some major trends in the digital advertising space: Geo location-based marketing, where marketers offer consumers a special product or service offer based on their location; an increase in short-messaging (text, Twitter, etc. as users move away from traditional email) and the so-called cross-screen interaction, which allows marketers to send messages to consumers across multiple screens with the same time window.

Asked about the main message he hopes to send during Clicko-de-Mayo, Mudd didn’t hesitate to state: “The Hispanic consumer has a greater appetite and a larger wallet than you might think… and it is one market you’ll ignore at your own peril.”

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