As EPMG is the media placement firm that works directly with Walmart to support its Multicultural circular programming, Portada is providing this exclusive interview with Trevor Hansen, CEO of EPMG, to discuss Walmart’s multicultural circular program as well as the state of the multicultural newspaper industry. (Check out separate article today on Walmart’s EDLP Strategy and its impact on Advertising).

TrevorHansen_EPMG (1)Hansen, photo, tells Portada. that EMPG helped launch the effort and has seen it through from infancy to very strong market engagement and overall industry-leading client commitment. The program components encompass very strategic store targeting and geospatial analytics and has won several media awards over the last couple of years”, Hansen notes.

When asked if Walmart is reducing its Hispanic insert program? Hansen answers that “the spend adjustment is not one that is directed just at Hispanic newspapers but at the circular and FSI programming as a whole. The Walmart circular program is still in full engagement but currently just at an adjusted strategy.”

“The spend adjustment is not one that is directed just at Hispanic newspapers but at the circular and FSI programming as a whole”

Why is this happening? “In respect to the advertising industry as a whole, budgets are shifting everywhere; all traditional vehicles are being adjusted to account for new media channels including social, streaming, content etc. For Hispanic and Multicultural newspapers it doesn’t help to have the direct association to print as a whole, as what Madison Avenue, Michigan Avenue, and every corporate retail HQ hears these days is about the circulation declines and revenue losses within general market print media. Those statistics are well sourced and undeniable and they are a cloud hanging over the rest of the industry.”

What does Hansen see? “In a quick acute fashion, but also backed by undeniable and sourced statistics, here are a few thoughts. General market newspapers used to deliver dominant 65%+ reach in every major DMA just a few years ago. And even today still deliver a substantial reach into a core reader demo, but yes the declines have been sharp.”

“For Multicultural newspapers it doesn’t help to have the direct association to print as a whole, as what Madison Avenue, Michigan Avenue, and every corporate retail HQ hears these days is about the circulation declines in general market print media.”

So what happened? Did we all stop reading? Did we all grab a mobile device, download Angry Birds and retract? “I don’t think so.”, Hansen answers.

What else happened over the last five to ten years? Has there been major technology advances in digital and mobile? “Yes. But, I would also offer that the top 10 DMAs saw demographic shifts that could be interpreted as seismic. California is now majority Latino, Multicultural easily represents over 80% of all growth in this country. I could go major DMA by major DMA and showcase all the data of demographic shifts including the essentially flat lining or negative growth of the Non-Hispanic white population.”

“The top 10 DMAs saw demographic shifts that could be interpreted as seismic.”

Hispanic Newspapers“So, if media engagement is about relevance and then reach, how can a general market newspaper be relevant and provide that same historical reach when there essentially is no general market in the top DMAs, and the fabric of the demographics has changed so rapidly?” Hansen asks. “While demographics were rapidly changing, affecting media engagement and general market newspaper circulation performance what else did we see? We now have over 600 Latino or Hispanic newspapers nationwide, over 400 Asian newspapers, 100+ LGBT newspapers, 200 Black newspapers and more niche media launches serving Middle Eastern populations, Polish, Eastern European, Native American, and more.” says Hansen. ” It’s simple really, whether viewed as cause and effect, or supply and demand, where one industry lost overall impact, relevance and reach, it was transferred and grew exponentially in another where the demand is. Atlanta’s Latino population grew at brisk rates over the last 5 years, so too did the circulation of Mundo Hispanico. The Hispanic population of San Diego, a complex border town had rapid growth as well – supply and demand, cause and effect, the circulation of El Latino has more than doubled over the last 8 years. EPMG’s custom readership study conducted by Nielsen showed poignantly that Hispanic newspapers across 5 major DMAs delivered over 50% reach into the Hispanic community, Spanish-dominant and Bilingual, with LA achieving over a 70% reach. Hispanic print media is relevant and in effect we have strong reach and engagement.”

What does Hispanic Print Media Need To Do?

So what’s next according to Hansen?: “The specialized print media industries need to stay diligent, disciplined and patient. In May, Time Inc. reported that the average US citizen now has an attention span less than a goldfish. Our industry is seduced by real-time reporting, programmatic buying, and dashboards of dashboards. I don’t say this as a bad thing, EPMG is very bullish on data, real-time reporting and data visualizations, but if we look at the print industry and did a SWAT analysis, real-time sales impact, first party database development and third party cookie synchs are not necessarily within print media’s strengths section; Newspapers are a media for a brand to engage in a thoughtful, intimate way; Newspapers are a trusted media, not a ratchet video warehouse or a link bait photo gallery engine. So the industry needs to be patient, while concurrently improving the offering.”

“The industry does need better-integrated assets to succeed in the long term and still needs better auditing, research and leadership”

The industry does need better-integrated assets to succeed in the long term and still needs better auditing, research and leadership. Hispanic and Multicultural newspapers overall have an amazing story to tell, and deserve a bigger seat at the table but to date the marketing and messaging from the industry I don’t believe has matched the value of the offering. This means opportunity to improve and grow. So if disciplined and with continued improvement, I believe that these relevance and real, intimate consumer touch points will come back both in client-side investment and in turn client-side ROI.”

Newspapers are a trusted media, not a ratchet video warehouse or a link bait photo gallery engine.

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Walmart’s Every Day Low Prices (EDLP) policy is having a clear impact on advertising in multicultural media. The Bentonville, Arkansas, retail giant is scaling back TV advertising, newspaper circulars and in-store displays in an effort to refocus on EDLP. What Javier Delgado Granados, Multicultural Marketing Director at Walmart and Hispanic media executives have to say.

Javier Delgado Granados, Multicultural Marketing Director at Walmart, tells Portada that Walmart has reinvigorated its focus on EDLP and that this has the following implications for advertising: “Operating under this model affects all we do at Walmart, including how we negotiate with our suppliers, how we advertise and how we go to market with price. In comparison to last June, we’ll run roughly half of the number of circulars. At the same time, the items and prices that are highlighted will last two weeks vs lasting one week. We’re focused on long-term loyalty, not a weekly sale.” Delgado’s comments refer to Walmart’s newspaper advertising in general, but Hispanic newspapers have also been hit. (Check out our exclusive interview today with Trevor Hansen, CEO of EPMG, the firm that places Walmart circulars in Hispanic print media).

In comparison to last June, we’ll run roughly half of the number of circulars.

Walmart3Delgado adds, however, that digital media expenditures are increasing. “We’ve also increased our digital spend – serving solutions to customers we know are looking for particular products while searching and shopping online.” “Our intention is to follow the customer and the General Market and Multicultural media behaviors are shifting dramatically,” Delgado concludes.

Newspaper Inserts have been a popular vehicle for big box retailers, especially when they are placed in large circulation home-delivered newspapers. Martha Kruse, Multicultural Marketing Director at Rooms to Go, tells Portada that she thinks that “the home-delivery distribution method of Hispanic newspapers can be very powerful.” Rooms to Go places English-language circulars in many Hispanic newspapers including Al Dia de Dallas and La Voz de Houston.

Hispanic Publishers to Walmart: Listen to your Regional Marketing Managers

WalmartNow Hispanic newspaper publishers are encouraging Walmart to bring the creative process and media planning to second and third tier suppliers who are on the ground and understand how the communities engage with print and their brands.
“If Hispanic market is one of their main goals, we hope Walmart will start applying their own retail strategy, visit their stores and listen to employees and local stores managers to media and go and visit the publications and the organizations who place the media,” says Martha Montoya, publisher of Seattle, WA based El Mundo newspaper. I am “very disappointed in Walmart’s short-sidedness in regards to the Hispanic Market. All indicators prove Hispanic Language Consumers are driving retail sales for Walmart and its peer retailers,” says Zulema Tijero, Sales Manager at Washington DC based El Tiempo Latino (owned by The Washington Post).

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Anita Grace, president of Anita Grace Ad Execs, and a sales representative for Freedom Communications, Gannett and AIM Texas Hispanic newspapers, says that “over and over newspaper inserts have been proven effective for retailers. I believe Walmart is getting caught up in the ‘apps and digital is enough and it’s cheap hype’. I would encourage my Hispanic print peers to develop relationships with their regional marketing manager and make sure they are aware of the cut. When they see a dip in numbers they know what to blame. Also we should encourage the regional managers to report back to corporate and ask for this program to be re-established.”
Other Hispanic newspaper publishers point out that it is their experience that their readers want the flyer in hand and that this includes Millennials. In the Hispanic market, there is no digital option to substitute a hand-delivered quality product to the front door that encompasses multiple generations, they claim.

Hispanic: Down in Digital and Mag. Advertising

According to Media Economics Group, overall, Hispanic magazine ad spend in the Department Stores category, which includes Target, Walmart and other big box retailers) is up by about 130% this year. However, so far this year Walmart ad spending in Hispanic magazines is $285,200 down 43% from $500,910 same period last year. This year, Walmart ranks sixth (down from third in the same period last year) among all retailers in ad spending in Hispanic magazines (Macy’s is first with US $2 million in spending).

While, as Delgado points out Walmart may be spending more to reach out to consumers via digital media, its activity “has been virtually non-existent on Hispanic digital properties,” says Carlos Pelay, president of Media Economics Group. .”In contrast, during January – May, 2014 Walmart accounted for 25.8% of all ad occurrences in the department store retail category on Hispanic websites – second only to Target (35.6%).

Hispanic Magazines Spending of Retailers (Jan-Jun 2015)

Macy’s, Inc.$383,679$2,004,908422.5%
JC Penney$0$471,081na
Target Corporation$312,257$407,02130.3%
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.$454,690$285,200-37.3%
Saks Incorporated$9,720$9,7200.0%
Sears Holdings$222,747$0-100.0%

SOURCE: Media Economics Group

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What: EPMG has partnered with impreMedia to launch a comprehensive print, digital and experiential 2014 Soccer World Cup program.
Why it matters: The sport program will run 6 consecutive weeks through Jun 18, 2014. Advertisers will be able to leverage at least 28 Spanish-language publishers across 20 different markets.

descarga impremedia
Multicultural media placement firm EPMG has announced they have partnered with impreMedia, the Hispanic news and information company, to launch the most comprehensive print, digital and experiential 2014 World Cup program to date.

This partnership will facilitate one of the largest World Cup footprints, with a combined print circulation of over 2 million and nearly more than 9 million unique visitors online. impreMedia brings Los Angeles La Opinion, New York’s El Diario/La Prensa, Chicago’s La Raza and other Hispanic newspapers to the table. While EPMG’s deep publisher relations provide many other major Hispanic newspaper digital and print properties nationwide.

Advertisers will be able to leverage 28 of the strongest Spanish-language publishers in the country, with reach in Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Chicago, New York and 14 other markets.The in-depth sports coverage will run 6 consecutive weeks through  Jun 18, 2014.

“Earlier this year, we released data from our custom Nielsen study that stated the top two Spanish-language newspapers in LA reach 79% of all Latinos in the area on a seven-day basis,” said Trevor Hansen, CEO, EPMG. “Imagine that level of engagement, but across 20 different markets. This is the massive reach that our partnership with impreMedia can deliver.”

“We are thrilled to partner with EPMG on this multiplatform World Cup solution,” said Fernando Lang, vice president of sales, impreMedia. “We’re excited to leverage our set of publishers, as well as other top Spanish-language publications in the country, to provide a scalable solution for advertisers trying to reach the market.”

Earlier this year Portada published the 2014 Soccer Marketing Guide in partnership with AC&M Group and Soccer.com. DOWNLOAD it here (free registration required).

What: LionHeartDigital (LHD), the Hispanic newspaper network backed by multicultural advertising placement firm EPMG, just introduced MamayFamilia, a Spanish-language parenting content site. Other products in other verticals are under way.
Why it matters: The share of Hispanic newspapers in the Hispanic digital ad market is relatively low (compared to the share general market newspapers have in the overall U.S. digital market). Efforts such as this one attempt to increase publishers share in the growing Hispanic digital advertising market.

Newspapers OnlineHispanic newspaper publishers are trying to get a larger share of the Hispanic online advertising market. Lion Heart Digital (LHD), the Hispanic newspaper network backed by multicultural advertising placement firm EPMG just introduced MamayFamilia, a Spanish-language parenting content site.

“Mama y Familia is a content program born out of EPMG/LHD publishers. At the EPMG/LHD annual publisher conference we review the previous year and discuss opportunities for the upcoming year – where together we are stronger,” Ginger Neal, President & Chief of Strategy at Lion Heart Digital tells Portada. Neal adds that “this year there was unified agreement that content was an opportunity and parenting content was of particular interest across all markets. We worked with publishers to help develop the opportunity to provide deeper and more frequent content and boost the local publisher audience.” Neal notes that other products in other verticals are under way.

There was unified agreement that parenting content was of particular interest across all markets.


Mama y Familia obtains content from LHD partner newspapers, which include Hoy Los AngelesAl Dia TexasEl Latino San DiegoLa Voz de Houston, El Tiempo Latino in Washington and Mundo Hispanico in Atlanta. “The LHD team worked with newspaper editors to determine content needs and launched a robust channel that local editors could build upon. We leveraged the power of the group and organized additional content on behalf of the publishers.” Neal says.
Dr. Helen Troncoso is a Mama y Familia regular contributor. Dr. Troncoso is an advocate for women’s health and holds a doctorate in physical therapy. Dr. Troncoso’s Mama Y Familia blog focuses on fitness myths, great exercises and health reminders specifically for Latinas.

Local Publisher Markets

An important element of Mama y Familia’s program is audience development. “This is the first content venture with our publishers and year one the goal is audience driven. We want to help publishers specifically build their local Latina audience. As we gain scale, we have high revenue expectations for national advertisers looking to reach Latina’s through local publisher markets,” Neal notes. She adds that there are no plans to have print extensions at this time.



WHAT: The NHMA (National Hispanic Media Alliance)  launched with the mission to be the leading Hispanic print media advocacy group in the nation. NHMA represents   community based Hispanic publications and showcases the value of cultural relevance and the power of hyperlocal content.
WHY IT MATTERS: Over the years  industry observers have voiced their concerns about the lack of a strong Hispanic print media advocacy group. This role has been traditionally occupied by the NAHP (National Association of Hispanic Publications founded in 1982). It is not clear yet whether the NHMA and the NAHP will complement each other or compete.

The National Hispanic Media Alliance (NHMA) is launching. The new organization launches with the mission to be the leading Hispanic print media advocacy group in the nation, representing prominent community based Hispanic publications; showcasing the value of cultural relevance and the power of hyperlocal content.

Chair of the Industry Professionals Advisory Board and an essential supporter of the NHMA is Trevor Hansen, CEO o multicultural media placement firm EPMG. Hansen tells Portada that the NHMA will concentrate its efforts on four primary pillars; Education, Advocacy, Verification and Advancement. “The Education pillar will provide sales, editorial and technology webinars, industry standard tutorials, templates and guidebooks. Advocacy offers inclusion to the powerful, ‘Unified Voice’, showcasing the power of local print at industry conferences and various outreach efforts. Verification will facilitate the circulation audit and minority certification process, while Advancement will present access to an award-winning digital platform, directory with vendor discounts as well as an advisory board of national brand representatives who will lead the conversation in aligning the efforts and direction of Hispanic print media.” According to Hansen it is  “fundamental that publications join and become part of the ‘united voice’ – as there is greater influence in numbers, as well as participate and take advantage of the many benefits that will be available through the NHMA. Some compare the cost of membership to similar organizations and question joining. The investment made, is the outcome seen. As an industry, its time to make those steps forward, its time to learn from each and grow together.”

Some compare the cost of membership to similar organizations and question joining. The investment made, is the outcome seen.

Other key players at the NHMA include the founding board of directors; Fanny Miller, Publisher of El Latino Newspaper in San Diego, California and Chair of the NHMA, Roaldo Moran, Publisher & General Manager of Hoy in Los Angeles, California and Vice-Chair of the NHMA, Penni Barton, Publisher of Al Día in Dallas, Texas and Secretary of the NHMA and Anthony Ibarria, Publisher of El Especialito in New York City, New York and Miami, Florida and Executive Board Member of the NHMA. Recognizing the value of inclusion and publisher participation, the NHMA launches with the fifth position on the executive board open to nomination. Members of the NHMA may submit their nomination online at www.TheNHMA.org. The fifth BOD member will be announced in January.

A competitor or a complement to NAHP?

EPMG’s  Hansen did not directly answer the question on whether the new organization’s aim is to  substitute or complement the NAHP (National Association of Hispanic Publications, an organization founded in 1982 with similar objectives and goals) but noted that “developed by current publishers and industry professionals, the NHMA understands the needs of publishers. Unique to the efforts of similar organizations, the NHMA will concentrate its efforts on providing its members with quality resources and useful tools to accelerate the advancement to a standard valued within its industry. As publications continue to strengthen their core products and evolve with new technology, the NHMA will share the story of the powerful, hyper-local media opportunity its members offer local and national brands.” “Like in any organization; when there is a need, leadership is strong and the mission is clear… success is just a matter of getting it done. The NHMA has the right people and resources in place to make it happen.”


What? Ingrid Reyes has been appointed EVP, Director of client solutions, strategy and value at EPMG.
Why it matters:  EPMG is ramping up its executive leadership with an executive that has a substantial agency and client background. The move should increase EPMG’s capabilities to sell Hispanic digital and print media, particularly in the face of the upcoming 2014 Soccer World Cup opportunity.

INGRID.REYESMulticultural media placement firm EPMG has announced the appointment of Ingrid Reyes to its executive team in the role of executive vice president, director of client solutions, strategy, and value.

Ingrid will take the lead in client specific cross-platform media strategy, leveraging EPMG’s capabilities from print media to full scope digital solutions and content marketing. This appointment is in line with Alex Sanchez recent hiring as Executive Vice President and Director of Hispanic Media and Custom Publishing.

Reyes is charged with developing the strategies and programs that will drive ROI for EPMG’s growing client base.

Most recently, Reyes was managing partner, director of multicultural North America of  Mindshare NY.  She led all multicultural business for accounts such as  Sprint,  Kimberly Clark,  CVS,  Abbott Pharmaceuticals,  BP/Castrol Oil,  AM/PM,  ARCO,  Regions Bank,  American Family Insurance,  USMC, Rent-A-Center, among many others.She led and helped grow Mindshare’s multicultural media division with 2011 billings of over $250 million from the U.S. Hispanic, Asian, LGBT, and African-American. Prior to her move to Mindshare NY, Reyes worked at Globalhue and Anita Santiago, where she presided over the creation of two separate multicultural media divisions. She has worked with accounts  such as  Verizon,  Toyota Motors,  IKEA,  Carl’s Jr. Restaurants,  XM Radio,  Disney,  ABC.

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Alex Sanchez
Alex Sanchez

Alejandro “Alex” Sánchez is joining EPMG as Executive Vice President and Director of Hispanic Media and Custom Publishing.  Sánchez’s main focus will be put on driving growth in digital and print integrated platforms. He will oversee EPMG’s national sales team. Sanchez joins EPMG, a leading print and digital media placement firm  in the multicultural space, from The Houston Chronicle’s La Voz, where he was the publisher and general manager.

Trevor Hansen, CEO of EPMG, tells Portada that with the rapid growth in EPMG’s digital platform and overall growth in Hispanic print media, “Alex will be focussing on the synergy of these vehicles along with experiential opportunities where appropriate to create and deliver strong multi platform programs to our clients. An example of this is our forthcoming multi market/national World Cup program.”

“Alex has proven to be a leader in the advertising and communications industry and we are pleased to add him to our team,” Hansen, adds. “His experience, passion, and leadership will be a huge asset to our company, agency, and client partners.”

Brad Branson – General Manager Hispanic at The Houston Chronicle

Prior to joining the EPMG executive team, Sánchez worked at Hearst Media Services as vice president of advertising and marketing for the Houston Chronicle Media Group and as publisher and general manager for La Voz. It is not clear whether La Voz will get a new publisher. However, Brad Branson was recently promoted to the position of General Manager – Hispanic, Automotive at Hearst Media Group – Houston Chronicle and La Voz de Houston.

Spanish-language media was the big exception in the Q2 2013 Kantar advertising expenditures figures, being the only media that substantially grew compared to the same period  of 2012. Interestingly the Kantar figures also included a 1.4% increase in Spanish-language newspaper advertising. Hispanic newspapers continue to distance themselves from the general market newspaper malaise, partly because of their distinct feature of community newspapers, a category that is also doing relatively well among general market newspapers. Below some comments of players in the media buying community about the current advertising scenario.

Circulation declines are not frequent at Hispanic newspapers (Read here about 4 Hispanic newspapers that  recently actually increased their circulation.) Most of these newspapers are available for free: In other words, their publishers need to clearly expect that an increase in advertising revenues will finance the circulation increase. Are advertising volumes currently increasing? This is what two members of the media buying community have to say.

Oury Tamboura, print strategist at Horizon Media in Los Angeles, where she buys print media (newspapers and magazines)  for brands including Crown Imports and Telemundo tells Portada that she has seen a pickup of ad dollars in general ” especially for my entertainment and beer accounts.” Tamboura adds that for Telemundo, we executed a print campaign La VozNinos in book with a social extension on twitter to incite readers to tune in on premiere week. The idea was to have an integrated campaign and extend our reach beyond the pages of the magazine.”

Digital component increasing

As the example of Tamboura’s Telemundo buy shows, adding a digital component to the traditional print buy is increasingly important. Trevor Hansen, CEO of EPMG360, tells Portada that his company recently did an integrated print and digital campaign for Wells Fargo: “Wells Fargo did an integrated campaign that included full-page full color print ads, and display and rich media digital ads. While the budgets and planning were separate the execution/creative messaging was all aligned.” EPMG recently introduced a unit called EPMG Latino (also called Lionheart Digital) that aggregates traffic of more than 20 of the top Hispanic newspaper websites. Hansen notes that the network has a monthly traffic of between 1.5 and 2.2 million unique users (depending on the month), with 10% to 15% of them connecting to  the sites from a mobile device.



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