Portada Survey: Latin American – Panregional Advertising and Media Execs See Business Improving

Business is clearly picking up in the Hispanic and Latin American advertising and media sectors, according to a Portada survey. The anonymous survey was done in mid-April. In addition to advertising and media executives, the survey included service providers, including companies belonging to the content, research and financial sectors.

The positive survey results have to be put in perspective: The economic background facing both the Hispanic and Latin American economies, and even more their media and advertising sectors, is still very uncertain. As one respondent put it: “Uncertainty bordering on chaos, but with opportunity”.

Portada interviewed more than 50 Hispanic and Latin American advertising and media decision makers. Respondents answered anonimously to the following question: “Compared to 2009. Do you see an improvement in business conditions, stability or a decline?” Overall more than three quarters of the respondents said that business conditions have improved (see table below).

Too rosy scenario?

Survey respondents that are mainly active in the U.S. Hispanic market seem to be more confident about an increase in economic activity: More than four out of every five executives who answered the survey said that they are seeing an improvement, versus only three in every four executives active in the Panregional/Latin American space. Perhaps the almost standstill of the U.S economy during the first third of last year, a very unusual situation in the U.S, weighed heavily on the respondents answers, while Latin American executives are more used to economic instabilities.

In addition, one time demand increasing factors like the U.S. Census in the U.S. and the World Cup in both the U.S. Hispanic and Latin American markets may also have a positive impact on the current economic situation but also question whether the improvement is sustainable in the medium and long term. The overall positive results of the survey may also mask less good business conditions in particular segments of the Latin Advertising and Media Sectors.

% of Respondents who answered that compared 2009, business conditions reflect: 

Overall Latin Advertising, Media and Content Markets

U.S. Hispanic Market
(Media and Ad Agencies)

Latin America – Panregional
(Media and Advertising Agencies)

Service Providers
(Content Providers,
Research and Finance)
















Source: Portada Survey, (Mid April 2010)

While the answer to the first question about business conditions was anonymous, respondents to the survey identified the main opportunities and challenges for their businesses during 2010. Here is what they had to say on the following two questions:


1. Where do you see most opportunities in your business during the reminder of the year?

2. What do you see as the most challenging part of your business during the rest of the year?

  • Juan Alduncin, President Pan American Media Group, Inc.

Opportunities: “I see more business opportunities in the Online Market and 360 solutions.”

Challenges: “Selling print media.”

  • Bruno Almeida, Managing Director and Founder of US Media Consulting US

Opportunities: “In Latin America, the biggest opportunity lies in the online division being that that is a medium that hast not yet reached the level and the strength that it has in the United States. Brazil is the only country that shows a strongonline presence, but the rest of the Latin American countries are far from it. Therefore, there is much room for growth in online and it is just a matter of time for it to become a dominant medium.”

Challenges: The most challenging part of the business is getting clients to trust the marketplace once again and make the same investments as were done before the recession. This is a marketplace that is thankfully no longer in a downward slope, but it is not where it was two years ago.”

  • Greg Anthony, SVP Alloy Access

Opportunities: “We look forward to seeing improved spending in telecommunication, automotive and financial categories compared to last year.”

Challenges: “Our biggest challenge is convincing advertisers/agencies that Hispanic newspapers are not having the same struggles as general market newspapers.Our Hispanic newspapers are the voice of our communities.We are seeing increased readership and circulation, and improved quality of content–rather than the reverse that is being experienced by general market media.”

  • Rebecca Chavez Becker, : Sales Director, San Antonio Express News

Opportunities: “There are still more opportunities in retail 

Challenges: “Gaining new local retail business”

  • Bill Borneman – CEO PowerDirect Marketing

“We serve various vertical industries including Retail, Healthcare, Financial Services, Restaurants, Telecommunications and Entertainment. The most opportunities for our business for the remainder of the year likely will be with our retailer clients, as there has been a noted upturn in retail consumer spending. The recession has turned the corner and there is greater consumer confidence. As a result, consumers (including Hispanic ones) are expected to spend more discretionary income on various retail purchases including consumer electronics (think “IPad”). This will create an opportunity for us as our retail clients may spend more money on advertising in general and (hopefully) in our media in particular, since we are very targeted and can reach customers around their stores’ immediate trading areas.”

Challenges: “The most challenging part of our business during the rest of the year (and beyond) will be to roll out our new brand positioning. “The Science of Front-Door Marketing”. We define this as “Tightly integrated blend of proven direct-response methodologies, leading edge monitoring and campaign metrics”. We’ve taken steps to ratchet up the sophistication of our marketing and media discipline with front-end targeting (including target to key ethnic groups such as Hispanics) and analytics and back-end monitoring and metrics in order to help our clients achieve maximum ROI. Our challenge is to communicate our industry’s benefits to marketing and advertising clients and raise the overall Front-Door Marketing & Media industry’s profile.”

  • Kathia Camargo, Sales Manager, Semana News

Opportunities: “On-line marketing  , national and integrate more  local customers to our  website”

Challenges: “On-line marketing development. Door to door distribution increase”

  • Rafael Carranza, Director of North American Sales and Business Development, Efe News Services 

Opportunities:”The World Cup and Digital Media are where most of the new opportunities will come from.”

Challenges: “To reinvent our process to lead in a market with more competition,less opportunities, lower investment level and more technologically savvy.”

  • Sergio Carrera – Televisa

Opportunities; “In online and new technologies. Also in integrated plans which include print, promotion, online. Reaching consumers through various touchpoints.”

Challenges: “Market recuperating and clients increasing their media dollars and budgets throughout the entire year.”

  • Guido Conterno, Executive Director, Grupo Diarios America

Opportunities: “Managing multimedia proposals.”

Challenges: “Increasing the positioning and value, in the mind of media buyers,  of a readers engagement with content and its direct correlation for the top of mind of a brand’s message.”

  • James Diaz, President Metro Mountain Media, Media News Group*

Opportunities: Development of web and mobile based revenue”

Challenges: Developing demand among local general market advertisers who are still learning how to integrate the Hispanic market into their marketing mix.

*Note: Metro Mountain Media, owned by Media News Group was created in April 2008 to develop niche products both in print magazines and online sites to augment the revenues of the Denver Post. Metro Mountain Media properties include Viva Colorado, Mountain Vacations , Front Range Family, Shopping Sense, Spaces and Living Healthy magazines.

  • Gonzalo del Fa, Media Director, Mediaedge

Opportunities: “Consultancy/Research and Digital”

Challenges: “Making clients understand the value and importance of the Hispanic Market for their business. There are still too many marketers out there that do not consider the Hispanic market as a priority.”

  • Cynthia Evans, Managing Director at GroupM/Mediaedge:cia

Opportunities:Data and analytics and insight.  Industry is swimming in data in need or organization and conversion to information and knowledge.”

Challenges: “Growth and revenue generation’


  • Guillermo Fernandez, Marketing Manager at Mediamark Research & Intelligence

Opportunities: “As market conditions continue to improve, greater attention will be paid to the Hispanic segment as it becomes an increasingly influential force in the U.S. Companies will increasingly adjust their research and marketing efforts to be able to seamlessly compare and contrast media/product usage, attitudes and demographics of Hispanics and general market consumers using a single source of research.”

Challenges: “As the number of consumer media options continues to increase it is more important than ever to efficiently and effectively measure traditional and emerging media. With more companies eager to capitalize on the rapidly growing Hispanic market, it is an exciting challenge to provide a convenient way to glean more actionable consumer insights about the Hispanic population.”

  • Mónica Lozano SVP of impreMedia

Opportunities: :”There are several major events this year, including the World Cup, that will provide business opportunities prior, during and after the event.The number of multi-platform programs is growing across all categories. There are more sales opportunities and solutions that include the integration of our digital (web, mobile , video) and non-digital products Newspaper/magazine/events/sponsorships/custom publishing).”

Challenges: “There are many more options available to advertisers and agencies to reach their target audience and accomplish their objectives. The challenge is to develop customized programs that are cost efficient , turnkey and measureable.”

  • Jesús Mata, Senior Director Advertising Services at DirecTV Latin America

Opportunities: “There are two large areas of opportunity for DIRECTV for the reminder of the year: It is imperative that we fully reap the benefit of the introduction of advanced products like fully functional DVRs and real High Definition broadcast in Latin America, especially for the differentiated content DIRECTV has secured, like the FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010™ and Liga BBVA among others. Creating more involved partnerships taking the client’s message all the way up to the viewer/subscriber, closing the circle between promotional and advertising activities with a concrete call to action and trying to secure a better defined ROI. This affects both the core subscription business as well as our advertising and promotional activities in association with third party brands.”

Challenges: “Continue our growth past the euphoria of the World Cup and the afterglow that will begin in the July-August 2010 timeframe. Another, perhaps more important challenge, is to deliver impeccable results in the face of the logistical difficulties implicit in our continental coverage, breadth, and depth. Execution is key, but just as important, there’s also the need to verify the actual message delivery to provide a satisfactory conclusion, assuring the development of long term relationships with our clients.”

  • Victor Parada, VP, Advertising Sales, Discovery Networks U.S. Hispanic Group.

  • Luis Silberwasser, International Head of Content for Discovery Networks International (DNI).

Opportunities: “The opportunity is in satisfying advertiser's and viewer's need to get more value out of Spanish-language television. The programming model used by all four broadcast networks has remained consistent and lacked content innovation. Combined, these four networks saw a decline of 4% in their primetime audience from 2006 to 2009.In that same time period you have seen a consistent migration to cable. Hispanic cable networks grew their primetime audience by 40%. We expect that trend to continue. Why? Because there is a need for more and better programming.”

Challenges: “Despite the shortcomings of broadcast many advertisers continue to rely on its massive reach, thus committing practically all of their budget dollars to the two biggest providers, Univision and Telemundo. This practice hinders advertiser's ability to enjoy the efficiencies of cable and  to benefit from the great value a cable networks with proven performance records and innovative content like ours.

  • Cynthia Nelson, COO, Todobebe

Opportunities: Expansion of TV format globally with new ventures in both Spain and Brazil

Challenges:Handling the growth across all media.”

  • Pierre Georges Roy, Partner GroupArgent

Opportunities: As a merchant bank providing investment banking and principal services to our clients in the LatAm/US Hispanic Tech and Internet industries, we receive more inquiries from financial buyers interested in reviewing investment and buyout opportunities, even at the lower tier of the middle market. We believe that there is rising interest in and around the Hispanics segment of the US population as an "investment theme". Similarly, there is now increased interest on the part of US investors in Latin American headquartered Tech and Internet companies (chiefly, in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Chile).”

Challenges: "We see our challenges in terms of macro trends. So the macro trends we worry about are: currency fluctuations in our key target countries (US, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia), political stability, employment figures, GDP growth, and advertising spends.”

  • Joseph Schramm, Managing Partner Schramm Sports and Entertainment Inc.

Opportunities: “Sponsorship Sales, especially of sports and special events.”

Challenges: “Staffing is the most crtical element of all business, so staffing efficiencies are even more critical today. We need to keep motivating and training staff to be more productive and then manage to retain their loyalty.”


  • Carolina Sintes – Marketing Director – Sony Pictures Television

Opportunities: “Definitely in digital and creative solutions. Clients are looking for"

Challenges: “Still in an economic crisis. Clients are being very cautious before deciding on where and how to spend their money.”


  • Alejandro Solorio,  Hoy Tribune.

Opportunities: "The segmentation of ones for the Weekend edition of Hoy (Hoy Fin de Semana) in Chicago will help bring more advertisers. For Hoy in Chicago and Los Angeles as well as for el Sentinel in Orlando and in South Florida, the opportunity lies in offering media campaigns that are more integrated with digital, mobile, social media, events and digital signage at a local, regional and, with Tribune Hispanic, at a national level. World Cup is still bringing additional opportunities with less than 60 days from its start.”

Challenges: “Getting economy affected clients whose budgets are coming back to normal and showing them, and all the other clients, how our media properties, in addition to print, will result in better engagement with our audience. Bringing better results for their investment as well as showing that we are their local and national media solution with Tribune Hispanic.”


  • Marla Skiko, SVP/Director of Digital Innovation SMG Multicultural, Chicago.

Opportunities: “We think growth will come in areas that are seeing strong increases in consumer usage and adoption such as in the digital media arena.  We expect to see clients increasing spending in digital across online, social, mobile, video, etc. These are all of the areas where Hispanics are spending more time as they connect, find information, seek entertainment and share and socialize.Our clients'’ desire for increased engagement, accountability and at times direct response will drive this digital uptick.”

Challenges: “It will continue to be a challenge to prove ROI for many of our clients' efforts, particularly as we increase spending in newer media that is still nascent and where metrics are constantly being refined.As they seek to spend each dollar as wisely as possible, the constant need to drive for increased accountability will be evident.”


  • Gaston Taratuta, President of Internet Media Services, Miami.

Opportunities: “Digital advertising will continue growing.”

Challenges: “The most challenging element is balance between growth and to be conservative in your investments.”

  • José María Trillas, CEO Iasa Comunicacion, Mexico DF

Opportunities:Car industries and laboratories”

Challenges: “Be able to reduce costs and gain readers”

  • Pablo Usandivaras, Director of Multicultural Voodoovox, New York

Opportunities: “The opportunities are mostly during the World Cup and the 2010 Census.”

Challenges: “I think the challenges are not any different than any other year. Too many ways to advertise with limited amount of advertisers and budgets. But I think the best presenters and most creative agencies will win.”

  • Ricardo Zisis, Publisher & Editor of Harvard Business Review América Latina, Santiago, Chile.

Opportunities: “In increasing advertising sales, profiting from better business environment , but especially by offering a whole marketing solution rather than just ad pages through Harvard Business Review portfolio of products and events”

Challenges: “It is on the digital arena: leveraging our website ad sales, and launching our premium subscription with a digital version and the whole HBR archive.”


  • Natalia Vasco- SVP Managing Director at Havas Media International

Opportunities: “The digital field represents without any doubt the greatest potential of our industry, not only because internet as a media is growing tremendously yoy in terms of penetration, usage, specialization and media spending, but specially because digitalization is changing the entire consumer behavior, the interaction between brands its messages and audiences and the communication model itself.

Also, considering that, despite the crisis, many analysis show that television continues growing throughout the region,   I would call the attention in regards to integration of content and entertaining platforms as a new format of advertising. It is a key opportunity for brands to break out the clutter, engage with consumers and be relevant in a media which still represent a great opportunity to reach out masses but urgently needs differentiation and notoriety.

Both  represent a unique opportunity for us as media makers and brand builders and for the advertisers to renew and re think their strategies to success in todays media landscape.”

Challenges: “The key challenge we phase as an agency is being able to maintain the right balance between specialization and a holistic approach. Advertising world is changing pretty fast and moving day to day to an increased use of  specialized techniques and platforms, as agencies we need to continue investing in research, innovation to be always updated, but at the same time, we need to preserve a general approach to the communications that allow us to prescribe the right solution to each specific brand need”