Join Us at the Marketing in Multicultural America Summit, NYC, March 5

Mexican Advertisers and Publishers seek to capitalize on U.S. Markets

The Hispanic market is the logical extension for Mexican media and advertising powerhouses. Both are entering the U.S. with an increasing speed. With more than 60% of U.S. Hispanics coming from Mexico, Mexican media companies target a similar audience in


The Hispanic market is the logical extension for Mexican media and advertising powerhouses. Both are entering the U.S. with an increasing speed. With more than 60% of U.S. Hispanics coming from Mexico, Mexican media companies target a similar audience in the U.S. In addition, they often can offer their vehicles to the same advertisers. Some observers call it the North American Cultural Area (NACA).

“Culture, needs, and topics of interest are very similar here in the United States and Mexico for our people. My experience of publishing daily newspapers for more than 20 years in Mexico helps me to identify which stories, events and sections are day-by – day the most attractive for our readers,” says José Santiago Healy, publisher of Diario San Diego (Healy Media, Spanish, daily, circ. 8,000, predominantly paid publication).

“Media companies are redefining programming to address different life experiences and narratives of the cross border cultural collide. Food and beverage companies and consumer goods companies like Procter & Gamble, retailers like HEB and Walmart, are at the early stages of understanding and responding to NACA’s potential,” notes Stephen Palacios Senior Consultant of New York based Cheskin Research.

Does the fact that Mexican Americans know many Mexican brands help when selling advertising to Mexican companies? “Definitely yes,” answers Jose Santiago Healy of Diario San Diego. “Brands like Jarritos, Bimbo, La Costeña, Tecate, Bancomer, Urbi, etc., are well-known in the Mexican-American community. But even American brands that have been popular in Mexico for many years such as Ford, General Motors, Sears, among others, get good results when they advertise in Hispanic media.”

Publishers make inroads

Televisa, the largest Spanish-language media company in the world, is the biggest publisher of magazines in the U.S. Hispanic market. Other large Mexican publishers recently have also moved into the U.S.

In April, Editorial Armonia, a Mexican publisher of women’s, cooking and family magazines bought a majority stake in Miami-based Megazines Publications, the publisher of the Hispanic newspaper insert Sobre Ruedas (8 x /year, Spanish, circ. 640,000). Armonia will use Megazines Publications to introduce some of its titles into the U.S. Hispanic market. “They will take advantage of our distribution network, our know-how and our contacts,” says Reynaldo Mena, general manager of Megazines Publications. “We still don’t know exactly what titles Armonia is going to introduce in the U.S.,” Mena notes. Grupo Editorial Armonia also publishes custom publications for several companies in Mexico including American Express, Campbell’s, Yoplait, Carnation and Maggi.

Mexican publishing house Grupo Reforma recently agreed to provide content for Cancha, a new Spanish-language weekly which is going to be launched by Hearst's San Antonio Express News. Cancha will target first generation Latinos living in San Antonio (Texas) with sports and entertainment oriented content. It will be published twice a week (total circ. 50,000).

Last year, Time Inc. acquired Mexico’s Grupo Editorial Expansión (GEE) The transaction has promising and interesting implications for the Mexican and Panregional publishing and advertising markets. Editorial Expansión owns a lot of content resources and now can access the Time Inc.’s marketing and distribution clout. Time Inc. accounts for nearly a quarter of the total advertising revenues of U.S. consumer magazines. Some of Expansión’s titles, like Quién, could easily be marketed to the growing Hispanic market in the U.S. or to other parts of Latin America. Expansion’s Chief Executive, John Reuter, is an American who headed strategic planning for Latin America for Time Inc. Sources at Grupo Editorial Expansión told Portada® that GEE is studying different options regarding entering the U.S. Hispanic market.

Grupo Fórmula, a Mexican multimedia company, introduced Fórmula Editorial earlier this year, a magazine that is distributed nationally and has a circulation of 60,000. Rocio Vargas, Editor of Fórmula Editorial, a Mexican radio and TV magazine published by multimedia group Grupo Fórmula with a circulation of 60,000, recently told Portada® that the publication will be distributed in the U.S. Hispanic market in a few months.

En Español Publishing Group, a company owned by Mexican Publishing House Cinemania-Inc., last year opened an office in Los Angeles headed by publishing executive Michaelle Fastlicht, in order to better service the US Hispanic custom publishing market.

Mexican specialty publications publishers are expanding into the U.S.Hispanic market too. Editorial México Desconocido, a Mexican publishing house specialized in travel publications is testing the U.S. Hispanic market with a travel title. Additionally, this year Correo del Migrante was launched, a monthly magazine touching issues affecting Mexicans living on both sides of the U.S. Mexican border, particularly issues important to Mexican small business owners.

Newspaper publishers from south of the border are active too. Mexican publisher Jose Santiago Healy, launched Diario San Diego in 2003 (circ. 80,000). Additionally, El Universal, one of the largest Mexican newspapers intends to publish a sports publication for Hispanics, industry sources note, although no formal plans have been announced.

According to a study by Strategy Research Corporation, 49,2% of Hispanics born outside the US read magazines in Spanish (49% newspapers in Spanish), it is this demographic that Mexican publishers are particularly suited to cater to. Other US publications, like Rumbo or The Houston Chronicles’s La Voz are also reaching this demographic. The Strategy Research Corporation study adds that 38,3% of first generation Hispanics read magazines in Spanish (21,8% for newspapers), while only 19.4% of second generation Hispanics read magazines in Spanish (13,3% for newspapers).

…and follow advertisers

Researchers note that about 30% of large Mexican advertisers have campaigns that target U.S. Hispanics (see Portada® Nr. 11 September-October 2004, page 8). Mexican companies like retailer Gigante, furniture stores Elektra and Famsa, Grupo Modelo, the brewer that produces the “Corona” brand, cement maker Cemex, bakery Grupo Bimbo, banks Banorte, BBVA and airline Mexicana de Aviación have all launched ad campaigns in the US. Mexicana de Aviacion, for instance, advertises in Fort Worth’s Diario La Estrella’s website (Knight Ridder, daily average readership 31,000, Spanish).

“Large actors, like Citibank, HSBC, Bank of America in the financial services realm are creating a new financial infrastructure that is paving the way beyond traditional remittances for new products and services that reach Hispanic on both sides of the border. Insurance companies are looking at the same phenomena, offering health insurance across the border to both ex-pat American retirees in Mexico and to extended family members of Mexican and Mexican Americans in the U.S.,” says Cheskin Research’s Stephen Palacios.

It is even a matter of style. Mexico is everywhere. For instance, last year, Zions First National Bank opened two branches in Salt Lake City and West Valley, where everyone is bilingual and the offices are decorated with Mexican decor. George Mesa, Managing Director, El Estandar, an Ogden, UT, based Spanish-language weekly (circ. 10,000, published by The Standard Examiner) told the Newspaper Association of America’s Dinah Eng.

Cross border advertising programs

The integration between the U.S. and Mexico is particularly strong in the border states (California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas). San Diego’s El Latino (circ. 90,000, weekly, free, bilingual) distributes 12,000 issues in Tijuana and has a sales office there. Alejandro Maciel, General Manager at El Latino, tells Portada® that many Mexican real estate companies advertise in El Latino. Family homes cost around US $150,000 in Mexico and US $600,000 in the U.S. So many people living in the U.S. try to buy real estate in Mexico and read El Latino for advertising.

Diario San Diego also runs an office in Tijuana that provides advertising and news for the newspaper. In order to reach more Mexican-Americans and Mexicans in the border zone, the Copley Press Inc., publisher of San Diego Union-Tribune and the Spanishlanguage weekly Enlace (circ. 60,.000), owns a direct mail program called “La Bolsa Azul.” A blue polybag containing coupons for restaurants and retail stores in San Diego is delivered every Friday to the doorsteps of 70,000 middle and upper-class homes in Tijuana. “Don’t miss these valuable shoppers who have money to spend in San Diego,” claims one of La Bolsa Azul’s advertisements. The shopper program charges a CPM of US $39 for a single sheet insertion in the polybag. Another Hispanic newspaper, San Antonio’s Conexion (Hearst-San Antonio Express News, weekly, circ. 50,000 predominantly English) has a doorhanger program in Monterey (Mexico).

Many similarities

The Mexican print media market has similar characteristics when compared to the U.S. Hispanic market. According to figures by TNS Media Intelligence, in 2004 Hispanic magazine advertising amounted to 2.9% of total Hispanic advertising dollars. In Mexico, media buyers spent 3% of the total advertising market volume in magazines.

Both the Mexican and the U.S. Hispanic advertising market are heavily dominated by TV and radio. Magazine advertising amounts to 15.1% of general market advertising. Smaller markets tend to have higher CPMs, so the average Hispanic market CPM lies at US $41, compared to US $91 in the general U.S. market. However, rate card discounts tend to be higher in the Hispanic market than in the general market.

For more information:

Check out

• Mexican advertisers bet on Hispanic media

• Mexican Publishers Expand into Southwestern United States

• Editors work hard to entice Mexican readers

• Making print media more affordable: Are low-priced newspapers the key to success in Mexico and the US?

Popular Now

Boost Your Sales

Who is Moving Now

The Latest

Get our e-letters packed with news and intelligence!