Acquisitions, bankruptcies, and new launches have changed the market for Hispanic print advertising in 2005. Advertising expenditures in the sector increased 4.6 percent for the year – less than the growth of overall Hispanic advertising, according to data gathered for the Hispanic Business Media Markets Report.
Here's a glimpse of some of the major print stories for the year, together with a chart of other developments.
On its face, Meredith's September launch of Siempre Mujer, a Spanish-language bi-monthly magazine about home, family, and self development, seems like a jump into a crowded field. But that's not how Ruth Gaviria, Meredith's director of Hispanic Ventures, sees it.
"When you look at positioning and the general market, there's Family Circle, [Meredith's title] Better Homes & Gardens, Oprah. But when you look at the Hispanic category, by and large it's underdeveloped," she says. What about the other Spanish-language women's titles – such as Vanidades, Cristina la Revista, and Cosmopolitan en Español? Those are all focused on beauty and fashion, Ms. Gaviria points out.
And Latina magazine, which ranked second in advertising sales among all U.S. Hispanic titles in 2005, according to the Web site HispanicMagazineMonitor, controls the English-reading market. "The incisive difference is, we're talking to a woman in the U.S. who has Latina values and culture but is also adopting U.S. culture and values," Ms. Gaviria says.
Poder Folds and Rises Again
The abrupt closure of the Hispanic-focused finance magazine Poder in September left many readers and advertisers wondering what happened. Sources who requested anonymity say the magazine simply wasn't profitable and the company's largest shareholder decided to stop putting in money.
Venezuela's Manduca Media, which owns
El Universal in Caracas, had bought a 60 percent stake in Poder's parent company, Zoom Media Group, two years ago and assumed management control. According to bankruptcy filings in Miami, Zoom owed $2 million to more than 100 creditors. Besides Poder, Zoom also published Loft, a Hispanic men's lifestyle magazine. The company was liquidated under Chapter 7 proceedings.
However, a group of former Zoom employees formed their own company, Page One Media, and in November bought the Poder and Loft trademarks for the United States, Mexico, and Central and South America. Their stated plan: to relaunch Poder in the United States in November, then expand to Colombia in December and Chile in 2006 (there was no break in Mexico). Plans for Loft have yet to be announced.
Audits Become Fashionable
In late 2004, Tribune's Hoy newspaper chain was accused of inflating its circulation figures. Advertisers have filed lawsuits and three Tribune officials were arrested earlier this year as the federal probe continues.
On the positive side, the scandal has encouraged 70 Spanish-language newspapers to audit their circulation under a program offered by the National Association of Hispanic Publishers (NAHP).
"Advertisers won't take into account any newspapers that are not audited," says NAHP President Lupita Colmenero. "It's a matter of getting used to the process and keeping records, so when they come you make their job easier."
A bigger issue, according to the marketing organization Latin Print Network, is reduced budgets for print among national advertisers. While U.S. Hispanic print advertising increased 4.6 percent in 2005, national newspaper ad spending rose a mere 3.0 percent, for example.
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