Twenty percent of all Hispanics living in the U.S. live in Los Angeles, making it the Hispanic market par excellence. The size of the Los Angeles advertising market (US $6.9 billion) exceeds that of the entire country of Spain. Last year alone advertisers spent about US $758.2 million dollars targeting Hispanic Angelinos. Approximately 10% of that went to print media properties. “By far, Los Angeles is the largest Hispanic demographic. Advertisers look to Los Angeles to help them map out the other smaller markets,” says Cynthia Nelson, Chief Operating Officer at TodoBebe, a multimedia parenting company which last August, in partnership with shared mail advertising company ADVO, distributed 835,000 collectible bilingual direct mail supplements on pregnancy and parenting to Hispanic households in LA. TodoBebe plans to do another drop for the holidays at the end of this year.
According to Jonathan Sanchez, publisher of Eastern Group Publications (10 weekly publications, combined circ. 104,000, bilingual), the Los Angeles print media market is the most diverse market in the U.S.— ethnically, linguistically, culturally—and the most competitive. Jaime Gamboa, publisher of Tu Ciudad magazine (Emmis Publishing, circ. 110,000, bimonthly, bilingual), says its large, complex, progressive audience makes LA very attractive to both advertisers and media companies. “Based on the number of Hispanics, Los Angeles has the second-largest Hispanic population in the world [Mexico City has the largest], but there are only a few products serving this group – Tu Ciudad, La Opinión, and HOY to name a few,” says Gamboa.
Advertising dollars spent targeting English-dominant Latinos is increasing with publications like Tu Ciudad and television programming on cable network SiTV and local station KJLA.
Interest from national advertisers
Ad revenues from national advertisers, although small compared to local and classified advertising, are growing for Los Angeles print media properties.
“Newspapers in Los Angeles can really serve any need for any product out there”, “Franklin Mejias, print media buyer at Los Angeles based La Agencia de Orci, tells Portada®. Mejias recently bought Los Angeles newspaper and magazine ad space for telecommunications company Verizon and Allstate insurance. In general, Hispanics tend to be underinsured and LA Hispanics are no exception. A recently released study by Tomás Rivera Policy Institute (TRPI) at the University of Southern California found that
Los Angeles-area Latino consumers underutilize insurance. Even national retailers, already print intensive advertisers, are increasing print media buys to drive traffic to their stores. According to a survey by TodoBebe, 53% of respondents said they buy the majority of their baby products at Target, Wal-Mart and K-Mart. Last September, Albertsons, the nation’s second largest grocery chain, placed ads in
La Opinión and in zoned editions of TV y Novelas (Editorial Televisa), Vanidades (Editorial Televisa) and Latina (Latina Media Ventures). The ads were only included in the Los Angeles editions of the magazines.
Franklin Mejias says there is a lot publishers can do to increase advertising. “Many newspapers do not have the ability to zone. We would like them to be more creative.”
Mejias adds that there is also a need for qualitative research (data about readers and the market) to support ad sales.“Through more focused efforts we have seen a 50% increase in national advertising in 2005 compared to the same period of 2004,” says Martha de la Torre, publisher of El Clasificado (El Clasificado Inc., circ. 220,000, weekly, Spanish, National CPM US $23.40). She expects to see more growth in employment, home improvement, and automotive, as well as market products and consumer appliance, gadget and computer display ads. National advertising makes up approximately 2% of El Clasificado’s annual revenues. Publishers are putting out new products in the hopes of winning national accounts. Impremedia’s La Opinión (circ. 125,624 (paid), daily, Spanish) recently created La Opinión Contigo, a free, micro-targeted, home delivered publication that will be distributed to 250,000 targeted households in neighborhoods with highly concentrated Hispanic populations. “This concept is based on the highly successful model used by our sister paper La Raza, which has experienced an average annual increase of nearly 30% in FSI business. National ROP has quadrupled over the past decade,” says Olga Casabona, market research manager at La Opinión. Casabona predicts growth in the automotive, national retail, CPGs and entertainment categories. Jonathan Sanchez of Eastern Group Publications sees utilities, lending institutions, automotive and medical as the most promising ad categories. Sanchez says his publications experienced 18% growth in national advertising during the first half of 2005 compared to the same period of 2004. “Nationally, we are seeing incremental spending in fashion, beauty, and automotive in Tu Ciudad,” says Jaime Gamboa, publisher of Tu Ciudad.
“Telecom and banking have been the strongest categories over the past year. The remainder of the business is made up of major retail and other local services. Local automotive dealers are also beginning to surge,” says Ray Arroyo, advertising sales manager at Orange County’s Excelsior (Freedom Communications, circ. 60,000, weekly, Spanish, national CPM US $93.35). Arroyo stresses that while Orange County is part of the LA DMA, the Hispanic Household Income in Orange County is 26% higher than in LA.
Spread out over 52 miles, the notion of market penetration takes on new meaning in Los Angeles. To be successful in Los Angeles requires large circulation numbers, and/or targeted zones focused on particular segments of the population. Eastern Group Publications (EGP) uses door-to-door distribution to targeted zip codes with large concentrations of Latinos. “We focus on contiguous neighborhoods/ communities/cities with common interests and needs, thus giving advertisers an opportunity to effectively penetrate key population centers and segments,” says EGP’s Sanchez. El Clasificado also publishes zoned editions. “The LA market is larger geographically than any other metropolitan market in the U.S. That’s why we have been zoned since the beginning. Los Angeles is also a very heterogeneous and very
fluid market. Our zone and rack delivered distribution model can be easily modified and expanded as the demographics change. This facilitates fast and effective expansion,”
explains Martha de la Torre publisher of El Clasificado. “This is how we expanded in 2004 from 15 zones with a total circulation of 150,000 to 20 zones with a circulation of over 220,000.”
With a circulation of 250,000 (Verified Circulation), Impacto USA (Media News Group-Los Angeles Newspaper Group) is the largest home-delivered Spanish language weekly in the United States. “It is delivered by block to 85% of Hispanic homes that have an average household income of over US$35,000 and are situated within five miles of a shopping mall” says Impacto USA publisher Fernando Paramo.
Not all newspapers rely as heavily on home-delivery. Hoy (Tribune, circ. 83,019), initially cost US $0.25, but is now distributed free through racks and homedelivery.
El Clasificado, which is almost 100% demand delivered through street and in-store racks, does home delivery only when it launches in a new zone. “We do up to 10% home delivery when we launch, primarily as promotional distribution. We’ve found that our strategic demand delivery system is more effective in the long run,” says El Clasificado’s Martha de la Torre. La Opinión offers advertisers FSIs (Free Standing Inserts) and customized flyers that are distributed in a segmented or zoned area that is chosen based on the location of their business.
In the Hispanic market, a shift from why to how
“Ten to twenty years ago, our focus was in educating advertisers on why they should market to Hispanics, that is, the importance of the market. Today, in most instances, we are educating advertisers on how to target Hispanics. In other words, we have shifted from why to how,” says La Opinión’s Casabona.La Opinión, the oldest Spanish-language newspaper in the country, has been circulating in the Los Angeles market for eight decades. “Today’s media market is characterized by more media choices for Hispanics,” explains Casabona. “This has made Hispanic media an improved and more sophisticated industry.”
EGP’s Jonathan Sanchez agrees. “Because the Los Angeles market has become more diverse, the need for more diverse and relevant media has grown dramatically. Mainstream print is shrinking, while independent ethnic media is leaping ahead and filling the void with the information that Los Angeles’s ethnic majority needs to make informed decisions and choices.”
Data profile: Hispanic Media Heaven
7.8 million (44.5% of total population of LA)
US $105 billion
80% Mexican descent, 16% from Central America
Advertising Market Volume
US $6.9 Billion (2004)
Hispanic advertising market volume
$758.2 million (2004: includes Local Spanishlanguage
Network TV, Hispanic Newspapers and
Hispanic Spot TV)
US $64.4 million (2004)
US $25 million
SOURCE: TNS Media, Impremedia, La Opinión,