Advertisers get ready for custom publications targeting Hispanics

Fortune 1,000 companies are increasingly interested in targeting Hispanics via custom publications. These companies can distribute their publications at their stores and own powerful customer lists in order to direct mail the publications to a large Hispanic demographic. In the general market, many large retailers invest more than 20% of their marketing budgets in custom publishing.

Recent projects in the Hispanic custom publishing arena include Latina Magazine’s (Latina Media Ventures, circ. 400,000, monthly, bilingual) recent agreement to produce three custom publications for Unilever. The publications will be bilingual and will provide an editorial environment for Unilever’s beauty brands.

Additionally, Casa y Hogar (Hogar Latino, Circ. 867,000, bimonthly, Spanish), made arrangements to produce a custom publication for home loan lender Countrywide Financial Corp. The articles, which will be provided by Casa y Hogar, will cover how to buy a first home, how to take advantage of the value of your home, and a practical guide to home mortgages. The custom publication will feature both the Casa y Hogar and the Countrywide Financial logos on the cover. Commenting on Casa y Hogar’s foray into custom publishing, Filiberto Fernandez, publisher of Casa y Hogar, noted, “The idea is to help U.S. companies reach Hispanic consumers in the most relevant way possible through custom publishing. And that is what we are doing.”


In a panel on print media buying during the 2006 National Association of Hispanic Publications Convention & Expo that took place in March in Las Vegas, Marsha Lawrence, print media manager at Best Buy Corp. advised publishers to work hard to get advertiser’s attention. In particular, she recommended that publishers answer the following questions when presenting their publication as a viable advertising vehicle to retailers.

-How does the distribution geography of the publication align with store locations?

– How does the Hispanic market spend in the advertiser’s product/service categories?

– How does the advertiser currently serve the Hispanic market (In-store, shopper demographics?

– Audience reach vs. other media (TV, radio etc…), Audience reach vs. non-Hispanic newspapers.

Lawrence pointed out that Hispanic newspapers should expect to charge lower rates than general market newspapers, because their publications are a supplement to general market buys. However, Robert Armband, Publisher of Chicago’s La Raza noted that Hispanic publications are the “primary buy” in zip codes that are heavily penetrated by Hispanics. Additionally, Best Buy’s Lawrence emphasized the importance of indepth research about each publications use by shoppers.


During a panel session called “Client Forum- Getting it Right,” that took place during AHAA 20th Semi Annual Conference (Los Angeles, early April), Rosalinda Markels, Franchise Director at McNeil, a consumer & specialty pharmaceutical company owned by Johnson & Johnson), noted that “the Hispanic market is the biggest growth opportunity” for her company. She added that McNeil annually spends between 7% and 9% of its advertising budget in Hispanic advertising. She noted that it is crucial for Johnson & Johnson’s strategy to target Spanish-dominant consumers. Conill Advertising is McNeill’s Hispanic advertising agency of record. Rick Marroquin, Director of Marketing – US Hispanic, McDonald’s Corporation, noted that one of the main opportunities for the Hispanic advertising industry is the “diversification of media vehicles.” He noted that McDonald’s is reducing its TV budgets and increasing its Internet and print media allocations. “Event marketing is an important part of our strategy”, says Martha Kruse, Multicultural Manager at The Home Depot.


Fronteras, the Spanish-language weekly newspaper produced by a joint venture between Danilo Black and Universal Press Syndicate, recently expanded into the Utah, Georgia and Florida Markets. The first edition of Fronteras was published on April 7th as a stand-alone by The Salt Lake Tribune (published by the Newspaper Agency Corporation – publisher of The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret Morning News, circ. Sunday 151,000 and daily 131,000 ABC audit 2004). Additionally, Fronteras recently was introduced in the Bradenton (Florida) market. Sources at Fronteras tell Portada® that the partner newspaper there is the Bradenton Herald (circ. between 10,000-15,000).

Fronteras was recently also introduced to the Macon (Georgia) market through a partnership with the Macon Telegraph (circ. 5,000).

Fronteras is now published in 15 markets. As of the beginning of April, the total circulation of Fronteras, both as newspaper insert and stand-alone editorial product was over 200,000. Fronteras combines lifestyle stories with national and world news as well as customized local news, events and information. Editorial content is produced by a joint venture between Danilo Black and Universal Press Syndicate. Each weekly edition allocates eight pages to national and local advertisements, which are sold through the local partner newspaper.


“We decided that the market is not ready generally speaking for a ROI study,” says Charles McCullagh, International Director at Magazine Publishers of America. Reasons are varied, according to McCullagh: “There is not enough activity on the part of most obvious brands, there is some concern that the process is not blind, which is to say that data would not be kept confidential (we have shown this not to be of concern in our general market research), and that there are more pressing needs in the sector than ROI research. We are still open to this research and a few companies such as Toyota are still considering it. But as a matter of policy MPA and all the major Hispanic publishers are now outlining a study that addresses engagement, cultural relevance and the like.”

MPA’s goal was to increase the share of ad-spending going to Hispanic magazines by pooling corporate resources to fund a marketing/media mix accountability study using a case history approach. Reader’s Digest Selecciones, People en Español, Meredith Hispanic Ventures and Televisa, were interested sponsors.

On the advertiser side, selected brands from major marketers in the area of OTC or CPG brands such as P&G, Kraft, J&J, Unilever, Colgate or Campbell Soup were approached to participate. None of these companies showed enough interest. In order to get a reasonable model operational, MPA needed an advertiser that has a schedule of advertising running pretty much throughout the year with roughly 10% of their spending in magazines, or a lesser percentage, but larger spending allocation overall.


A group of organizations led by Magazine Publishers of America are sponsoring a new Hispanic readership study. 5,000 Hispanic readers will be interviewed nationwide. “We have at least 9 companies involved and Synovate is the vendor. We'll have 5 city road show promoting to agencies”, Chuck McCullagh, Senior Vice President, Membership Services, told Portada®. Organizations spronsoring the project include MPA, People en Español, National Hispanic Press Foundation, Meredith Hispanic Ventures, Selecciones, Latina, AARP Segunda Junventud, Editorial Televisa and Muevelo.


Llewellyn Book Publishers, a company devoted to mind, body, and spirit titles, is continuing to expand its market- reach to appeal to Hispanic audiences. The company, founded in 1901 in St. Paul, MN, publishes titles both in English and in Spanish, and promotes these titles through print and online media. The company began publishing Hispanic titles in 1995 and they currently account for 5.4% oftotal sales.

Llewellyn has a bi-monthly consumer magazine – New Worlds – that goes out to 43,000 consumers and is distributed free at 200 bookstores. “We also reach the trade with catalog mailings, bi-monthly e-newsletters and ads in “Criticas” supplements that appear in Library Journal,” says Jerry Rogers, Llewellyn’s marketing manager.

The company coordinates catalogmailings to bookstores using in-house lists and also by periodically purchasing lists of stores that have Spanish-language sections. In addition to its regular website ( the company also has a Spanish-language version of the site (https://www.llewellynespanol.) where they promote comtheir Hispanic titles. “Right now our two dream books – Diccionario de los Suenos by Mario Jimenez-Castillo and Suenos, by Migene Gonzalez-Wippler are doing well,” says Rogers.


Spanish brewers Mahou and Damm, the companies behind beer brands Mahou Cinco Estrellas and Estrella Damm are entering the U.S. beer market. Estrella Damm will promote its image around the idea of “Barcelona” (Catalonia, Spain), the city where Damm is headquartered.

The market for imported beers is becoming increasingly competitive in the U.S. Heineken Premium Light, was introduced by the U.S. division of Dutch brewer Heineken. Heineken Premium Light will be the second light beer sold in the U.S. by Heineken, joining Amstel Light, introduced in the 1980’s. Additionally, Anheuser-Busch  signed a deal to become the United States importer of brands sold by another Dutch brewer, Royal Grolsch, which is bringing out Grolsch Light Lager in five states. The deal is effective in January 2007.

Brewers are significant advertisers in Spanish-language media, including Hispanic newspapers and magazines. The Hispanic campaign for Heineken Premium Light was created by Vidal Partnership in New York.


Newspaper ad-sales representation company Metrosuburbia recently gained the representation mandate of New Jersey Spanish-language weekly Nuestra Comunidad, a Spanish-language weekly published in Central New Jersey by Gannett’s Home News Journal. Metrosuburbia now represents three Spanish-language newspapers in New Jersey. The two others are: El Nuevo (Hudson, Essex, Passaic and Union County, NJ, published by El Nuevo Group, circ. 87,313, delivered every Thursday) and Su Guía (delivered every Friday in Bergen and Passaic Counties, circ. 33,355). El Nuevo, Nuestra Comunidad and Su Guía reach more than 600,000 newspaper readersin New Jersey’s Hispanic communities.


La Voz Fin de Semana, a publication launched in October 2005 by Ashland Publishing, LLC, owner of La Voz, a weekly Spanish language publication in Arizona, has been successful in attracting advertisers. “Advertisers seem to like weekend publications,” sources at La Voz told Portada®. La Voz recently obtained the Target and Best Buy accounts.

Ashland Publishing, LLC, owned by Gannett and publisher of La Voz, a weekly Spanish language publication in Arizona, announced the launch on November 12 of La Voz Fin de Semana, a new weekend home-delivered edition.

Each Saturday, La Voz Fin de Semana is delivered to 60,000 homes in the Phoenix metro area with a combined 85% Hispanic household penetration. After deciding to publish a weekend edition La Voz now publishes twice a week. La Voz, which also publishes the weekly La Voz de Tucson, has a combined distribution of 135,000 copies and is audited by VAC (Verified Audit Circulation). La Voz Fin de Semana, features news and information on shopping, leisure, social life, entertainment, movies, sports, local events and activities, home buying tips, interior decorating ideas, church events and obituaries.


Verizon announced the latest move in its national expansion strategy with the launching of a new 6-by-9 inch Spanish-language telephone directory. The directory will feature a special food and drink guide, a menu pages, and a coupons section. The company is touting its additional advertising options, such as complementing traditional print yellowpages advertising with internet advertising on This allows advertisers to customize their programs throughout the year and implement promotional offers on the website.


Enlace Spanish Yellow Pages, an independent Spanish-language directory company has agreed to acquire El Directorio, a Los Angeles Spanish Yellow Pages directory. The Los Angeles area is the largest Hispanic market in the United States, with over 9 million Spanish-speakers. Enlace Hill publish directories for Orange County, Los Angeles, Riverside and the San Fernando Valley, reaching close to 1 million in distribution annually. The first Southern California directory under the Enlace name will publish this fall. The former owner and team of El Directorio will join Enlace and will continue to oversee the Los Angeles area directories. Enlace now publishes 21 directories in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and Tennessee. With the acquisition, Enlace will publish and distribute close to 2.5 million directories annually. Enlace also announced that Neil Boyles recently joined the Enlace team to oversee several East Coast markets. Boyles brings 14 years of directory experience from BellSouth Yellow Pages, Alltel Yellow Pages, and Magnolia Publishing. (For more information read (“A Hispanic Yellow Page Consolidator Speaks-Out”, October 31 2005).


The HYP Network has announced its plans to launch its new Directorio en Español yellowpages to South Florida. This move is an extension of their current market presence in Tampa and Orlando. HYP had previously been involved in placing national advertising with Miami en sus Manos and Broward en sus Manos, but now those efforts are being handled by those publications. HYP has also announced the hiring of Jason Mizrachi as General Sales Manager to head up operations in S. Florida.


Meredith Corporation will introduce a Spanish version of Diabetic Living, an English-language magazine offering health and lifestyle information, into the Hispanic market. The publishing house announced a licensing agreement with Globus Comunicación, a Spanish magazine publisher based in Madrid (Spain). Globus will publish a Spanishlanguage version of Diabetic Living. A part of the new magazine’s circulation will be distributed in the U.S., Patrick Taylor, Meredith Executive Director Publishing Group’s Communications, tells Portada®. The new Spanish-language publication will take content from Diabetic Living (circ. 350,000, quarterly) – a mix of recipes and information on exercise and general health – and make it culturally relevant to Spaniards and U.S. Hispanics. Taylor added that the launch date and the name of the new publication has not been determined yet.

Hispanics have a high rate of diabetes (approximately twice as high as the general U.S. population). The only publication in the market exclusively targeting Hispanics is Diabetes Forecast en español (published by American Diabetes Association, quarterly, circ. 100,000). Diabetes Forecast en español is direct mailed to Hispanic members of the American Diabetes Association.

According to the licensing agreement it entered with Meredith, Spain’s Globus Comunicación will also publish Spanish versions of books based on the Better Homes and Gardens Big Book of Home How-To. These materials will also be available for Meredith to share with U.S.-based Hispanic readers.

Globus Comunicación was established in 1990. It belongs to Sweden’s Bonnier Publishing Group. Bonnier has a staff of more than 11,000 employees in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway, as well as in other former USSR republics, Germany, France and Spain, it publishes general and economic newspapers, magazines and books. It also produces material for television, opera and radio stations and provides a financial information service.

Globus Comunicación publishes home-decoration magazines (Diseño Interior, Casa & Campo, Propiedades, Brico, Mi Jardín, Plantas en Casa, 20 Casas), health and beauty magazines, (Vive, Psicología, Cuerpo de Mujer, Prevenir, Embarazo Sano, Pelo New Look, Cocina Ligera, Guía del Saber Vivir, Yoga Journal), and hobby related publications (On Off, Edge).


Diario San Diego (Healy Media, circ. 8,000, Spanish) announced that it now will be published Mondays and Fridays. It formerly was a daily newspaper.

Our experience of two and a half years in San Diego County has indicated that Mondays and Fridays are precisely the days that our publication is read most and has the most acceptances amongst the Spanish-anguage readers”, said Jose Santiago Healy, Diario San Diego's president and publisher.

“We at Diario San Diego have taken the decision to concentrate our efforts, resources and dedication in producing editions with even greater in depth information two days a week”, Healy added. The publication will increase its circulation to 30 thousand copies on Fridays and fifteen thousand on Mondays towards the end of 2006. At the same time Diario San Diego will introduce even more attractive and quality information that the readers have grown to be accustomed to and that has made the publication receive numerous awards since it was founded in the fall of 2003.

With this change in its circulation, Diario San Diego recently started to broadcast its weekly radio magazine titled En Voz Alta on Radio Hispana 1470 AM, in which the editorial team lead by its president and publisher, José Santiago Healy, analyze the latest national, local, sports and entertainment news in the hour long live production.

Diario San Diego will continue with its daily news coverage throughout its web page at and will continue as well with its weekly participation on the San Diego Reader section called La Semana en Español which highlights the tops stories in Spanish inside the highest circulation magazines in San Diego County. (For more information, read “Market profile San Diego: “San Diego’s Hispanic media cater to readers and businesses on both sides of the border”, page 31 Portada® No. 20, March/April/May 2006).


Yell Group Plc, the publisher of Yellow Pages directories, agreed to buy Telefonica Publicidad e Informacion SA, the Spanish directory company controlled by Telefonica SA, for 3.07 billion euros ($3.85 billion). Yell will also assume about 220 million euros of debt, the company said.

TPI has a significant presence in Spain, Latin America and Italy. In 2004 it had revenues of 608 million euros (US$ 772 million) and Earnings before Interest Taxes and Ammortization (EBITDA) of 210 million euros (US$ 267 million). In 2004 Latin America contributed to 20% of TPI’s revenues and to 14% of its EBITDA.

In Spain TPI owns Paginas Amarillas, Paginas Blancas, Pack Nueva Vivienda, Europages, NAN Construccion, Distribucion Directa, NAN Hosteleria, On-Line). In Brasil TPI publishes Guia Mais, Guia Mais de Bolsillo and has an online presence for these directories.

In Chile TPI produces Las Amarillas de Publiguias, Guia Comercial Alfabetica, and has a online presence for these directories. On-line, Peru (Paginas Amarillas, Paginas Amarillas de Bolsillo, and has an online presence. In Italy, TPI has phone information services and in Argentina it publishes Paginas Doradas.


Metro International S.A. (a Scandinavian company that among other titles publishes Metro Philadelphia, Metro-Boston and Metro-Santiago de Chile) announced plans to expand its franchise into the world’s second-largest metropolis, Mexico City. Publicaciones Metropolitanas, S.A. de C.V. is the name of the company that has been established to handle operations in Mexico. The venture is a three-way partnership between Metro International, which will command 35% ownership, with 35% owned by MXSHARES, S.A. de C.V., and 30% by Immobilaria Torraco, S.A. de C.V.”As the paper has not yet been launched, there are no advertisers to speak of,” says Rob Newman, investor and press relations contact. “But our traditional model is to offer local, national, and international route to market for our advertisers.” Metro’s Mexico-City circulation is not yet certain, but the company’s preferred strategy is to be the biggest player in each of its markets, and they are estimating a 130,000 daily distribution at the outset, with hand-distribution and selected racks. Newman also explained what distinguishes Metro from other free publications: “Metro’s marketing model is to offer local advertisers targeted reach and superior demographics.


What Metro does is deliver young, educated, male and female professionals to our local, national, and international advertisers, and we typically do it at a premium to our free sheet peers.” (For more information see “Making print media more affordable: Are low-priced newspapers the key to success in Mexico and the US?”, page 1, Portada® Nr. 3, May- June 2003).


Argentina's La Nación newspaper and Chile's El Mercurio newspaper will incorporate Google search technology into their websites. The keywords will be sold by US Media Consulting a Miami based Internet ad sales company, Bruno Almeida, ad sales director of US Media Consulting, tells Portada®.

US Media Consulting's partnership with Google will roll out in the next few months through deals with newspapers in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. “These will be our three initial markets. After that we are going to roll out to other Latin American markets”, Almeida adds.

US Media Consulting sells advertising to U.S. Hispanic and regional advertisers for 11 Latin American newspaper websites, the majority of them owned by Grupo Diarios America, a Miami based organization that represents major Latin American newspapers in the U.S.