Our View: A Test for the Hispanic Marketing and Media Sector

At the end of this year the U.S. Census Bureau will provide the President of the United States with the first results of the 2010 Census. Throughout 2011 more results will be provided to both the states and federal level (Washington).

For the U.S. Hispanic Advertising and Media industry, the upcoming release of the 2010 Census results represents a huge business opportunity. As the Leading Source on Latin Marketing and Media, Portada's editorial team will be analyzing and dissecting the Census results in our online, print and conference properties. It is crucial for the growth of the Hispanic Advertising and Marketing industry, that the news about the impressive growth of the Hispanic population goes right to the CMOs (Chief Marketing Officers) of Corporate America, not only to the Multicultural Marketing Departments.

For the message to come across efficiently it is important that the U.S.Hispanic Advertising and Media industry shows its maturity. It should provide high quality and thorough arguments about the important gains to be derived by marketing to Hispanics and leave corporatist attitudes aside.

We should say goodbye to Quota Politics: Companies should not shield themselves behind quota-arguments to advance their business interests.

In this regard, the fact that general market agencies want to help corporations create, plan and buy media targeting Hispanics can only be interpreted as a vote of confidence in the Hispanic market. The majority of the Hispanic Advertising and Media sector embraces multiculturalism and has a strong belief in freedom and equality of opportunity for all sectors of the U.S. population. However, some negatives remain. Veteran Hispanic media executive Bill Vincent recently wrote a Portada "Sounding Off" – column (see page 6 of this issue) on racial profiling in the Hispanic media industry: "There is an almost unspoken expectation that remains in the mind of some, of about the premier requirements to run Hispanic media: the right face and/or the right last name. Or as I called it, "el concepto de aspecto/apellido."

"We've been adept at giving lip service of seeking the most qualified people to guide our media groups. But how much of those critical decisions are based on an objective assessment of talent, achievement, knowledge and passion, and how much is based on the hiring “executives” perception of a candidate's mere "Hispanicity"?", Vincent asks.

When we ask Corporate America to embrace the increasingly multicultural and diverse consumer, we should not forget that the same spirit has also to reign the way we operate in our own industry. Going into 2011, this will be the Hispanic Advertising and Media industry's "Census Test".