As Hispanic publishers seek new ways to boost their bottom lines, they are invariably confronted with a critical question: whether or not to welcome front-cover advertising.
Although this type of advertising can garner much higher rates than traditional advertising (between 2 and 5 times as much), a widespread criticism is that it can dilute a publication's own identity if not implemented sparingly.
Diario la Estrella's Director of Advertising and Marketing Bill Vincent weighs the benefits and costs of front-cover advertising in this way: “With the way the newspaper business is changing, it has [monetary] benefits that weren't considered necessary 10 years ago. The only drawback is the possible “selling” of your identity, since nothing establishes the identity of your newspaper more than the front-cover.”
Others recognize the diluting potential of an ad-ridden front cover, but see this as an avoidable obstacle. Amy Hinojosa, marketing director of Al Día (TX) sees the small banner ad at the bottom of the page as relatively innocuous: “The strip ad at the bottom of the page and the height of one inch does not intrude significantly on the editorial, and it works well for advertisers.”
Seth J. Mason, publisher of Vida Latina concurs, saying that these front-cover banners are good sources of revenue “that don't make the page look too gaudy.”
Hoy's Director of Marketing Marco Lopez says that he embraces the developments in front-cover advertising, but points out that editorial content should always take precedence. “We run various front-cover advertising options such as wraps, banners, and little ‘buttons,' but if there is a news item of overwhelming local or national significance, that will be our priority, and our advertisers know this.”
For California's bilingual Vida en el Valle, the possibility of front-cover advertising is precluded by space restrictions. Vida's Publisher Valerie Bender says, “Seeing as how we are a fully-bilingual publication, offering side-by-side English/Spanish versions, we are already somewhat limited as to how much space we have on the front page. I suppose if we wanted to, we could redesign the front-cover to accommodate a small banner at the bottom, but to be honest, no one has approached us about this.”