2008 Election: A Fruitless Tree So Far…

The upcoming 2008 presidential election represents a potential boon for Hispanic media properties, particularly as Hispanics are currently enjoying a higher profile in the electoral process than ever before. According to a recent report by Stamford, CT-based PQ Media, political campaigns are set to spend $4.5 Billion on advertising in 2008. But how much of this will be allocated to Hispanic media? None of the publishers or agencies Portada spoke to would even venture a guess.

So far, actual Hispanic advertising on the part of the campaigns has been extremely limited, if not altogether absent. While many candidates have taken time to speak with Spanish language media, none have been particularly forthcoming with ad dollars.

Carlos Reina, account Manager for Texas’ Rumbo chain of newspapers, puts it this way: We’re hoping we see some effect from the election. The challenge is that lots of political advertisers think they can reach everybody through general market properties,” says Reina.

“We did mail out several press kits directly to campaigns and also to their agencies, back in May, letting them know we’re in three markets, and that we could help them reach who they’re looking to reach.”

Rumbo’s editorial director Rodrigo Paris says that the paper’s primary focus vis-à-vis the  2008 presidential election will be the immigration debate and which positions the various candidates take on the issue, as it is a pivotal one for many of the paper’s readers.

As part of the “Ya es Hora ¡Regístrate!” campaign, Univision.com (keyword: Elecciones) has a dedicated epicenter with vital information, interactive tools, and registration instructions. Local mini-sites are also posting registration dates and featuring articles that urge Hispanics to voice their opinions by voting.  In late 2007, Univision hosted the first-ever Spanish-language presidential debate with the Democratic candidates, and later held a Republican debate, as well.