Tomás Martinez–Radio Caracol: “The Impact of Political Advertising adds one Month of Income.”

In the run up to yesterday’s elections Hispanic political advertising played a role. If you don’t believe this, ask Tomas Martinez, General Manager of Radio Caracol 1260 AM in Miami, who tells us that political advertising revenues made up for one month of extra income to Radio Caracol’s financial year.

Tomás Martinez, General Manager at Radio Caracol, one of the biggest stations of Grupo Latino de Radio, has a large experience in this field. Portada talked with him about Hispanic political advertising related to yesterday’s election.

Portada: How much interest does the election and politics in general generate in Miami among Hispanics? 

Tomás Martinez: “Miami is a city where political activity and advertising has been always an important matter. Political advertising is moved by voters and most Hispanics here think that voting is an important thing to do. This is based on the origin of the immigrant living here, most of them came to this country running away of their original countries for political reasons.”

Portada: How do you handle the relationship between editorial content about politics  and political advertising?

Tomás Martinez: "We keep a neutral position at the station. Trying to cover both sides and giving the liberty to our hosts to give their opinions. Radio Caracol’s policy is to give voice to all political expressions."

Portada: What's the impact of the Hispanic Political Advertising in terms of advertising distribution and incomes? Could you make a comparison between this election and the last one in terms of how much advertising to Hispanics is being made?

Tomás Martinez: "We’ve seen huge growth in advertising since 2008 with the presidential election, where we cover the event with a high level of content with interviews to the main candidates. In 2008 we had our best year in the station, regarding political advertising. This year the trend has continued, the impact of the political advertising (each time we have an election) adds one month of incomes to our financial year.”

Portada: Who are the main advertisers to Hispanic voters?

Tomás Martinez: "Our biggest advertisers are the candidates for governor. After them we have Garcia and Rivera, contesting for the district 25."


Portada: How do political advertisers make media buys?

Tomás Martinez: "Political parties advertising directly with us represent 80 to 85% of our total political advertising. The remaining 15-20% comes from PAC (Political Action Committees). Some candidates advertise themselves troughs PACs at a national level. This is a system that, while it does not access the minimum rate as political parties, has no limits for advertising as political parties has."


Portada: What is the percentage of the ads broadcasted in Spanish?

Tomás Martinez: “All spots being aired through Radio Caracol are in Spanish. Candidates are speaking Spanish in the spots or making an effort to pronounce some words in Spanish. This indicates the importance of the Hispanic vote. The creative level and the production behind the radio spots for the Hispanic market are pretty much the same as for the general market. And almost all candidates have one Latino among their advisers who makes the buys.” 

* Tomás Martinez is the General Manager of Radio Caracol 1260 AM. Prior to joining Radio Caracol, Martinez, 44, served as Vice President and General Manager of Radio Unica Miami for five years. He has been involved in the radio industry for more than two decades, and has also worked at Shadow Broadcast Services/Westwood One, where he was General Sales Manager for the state of Florida. Prior to that, Martinez was General Sales Manager of WQBA AM/FM and WAQI AM, both based in Miami; and National Director of Marketing and Merchandising for Heftel Broadcasting Corporation. Martinez launched his media career in 1983 at WOJO-FM, in Chicago. Martinez received a BS from the Loyola University of Chicago in 1983.