Global brands are increasing their allocation to print advertising in Latin America. Large U.S. and European companies are buying print mostly through Miami based advertising sales agencies and the U.S. sales offices of Latin American publishers, showing a clear trend toward a pan-regional buying approach.
Sources at Editorial Televisa report that, after two slow years, they are seeing “double digit growth” in advertising dollars spent in 2004. “Advertisers are more interested in pan-regional buys than in buying print media in particular countries,” Guillermo Plehn, advertising sales manager at Editorial Televisa in Miami tells Portadatm. “We are seeing 200-300% growth in advertising by European luxury goods such as LVMH and Ferragamo,”. He also says that large U.S. brands like Procter & Gamble and Unilever have increased their print media advertising budgets.
In terms of interest in individual countries, he says that advertisers are currently most interested in Mexico, Colombia and Central America (mostly Panama and Costa Rica). Argentina is rebounding from a low base, and there is some interest in Ecuador, particularly in the real estate category. Televisa has experienced relatively little growth in the U.S. Hispanic market, mostly driven by companies in the automotive category.
Some large Latin American newspapers have sales organizations based in Miami. Among these is Grupo de Diarios América (GDA), a company created by fourteen leading daily newspapers published in Latin America in 13 Spanish-speaking countries and Brazil. Spanish newspapers include La Nación (Argentina, circ. 148,000), El Mercurio (Chile, 145,000), El Tiempo (Colombia, 314,000), La Nación (Costa Rica, 120,000), El Comercio (Ecuador, 110,000), Siglo Veintiuno (Guatemala, 27,000), El Universal (Mexico, 145,000), El Comercio (Peru, 120,000), El Nuevo día (Puerto Rico, 204,000), El País (Uruguay, 49,000) and El Nacional (Venezuela, 180,000). Another sales organization with a pan-regional approach is New York based The Wall Street Journal Americas (Dow Jones) which sells advertising in bannered pages of the The Wall Street Journal. These bannered pages appear daily or weekly in 21 newspapers (total circ. 2,377,000) in 18 Latin American countries.
During the last three years, GDA has increased its advertising sales by 110%, reaching a high seven digit figure. Most of its ad sales fall into the categories of technology, automotive, financial and to a lesser extent tourism. Among the main companies interested in Latin American print advertising are Dell, Hyundai, Chrysler, Visa and Principle Financial. Some of these advertisers, such as Dell, whose Latin American annual print advertising budget is estimated at US $5 million, are also interested in Direct Marketing programs offered by GDA's member newspapers. Although most of these advertisers are interested in panregional buys, Chile, supported by its strong economy, gets the most individual buys, followed by Colombia, Puerto Rico and Mexico.