Mexico's Grupo Televisa is the leading producer of Spanish-language media and content in the United States. The media conglomerate provides the bulk of primetime programming for Univision, the No. 1 Spanish-language network in the United States. Grupo Televisa's Miami-based Televisa Publishing unit produces 12 Spanish-language magazines in the United States, including two of the top five titles ranked by advertising revenue, according to Fort Lauderdale-based Media Economics Group, which tracks Hispanic magazines.
Because of the growing Latin American ownership of media aimed at U.S. Hispanics, "Hispanics have more choices for consuming media," says Gabriel Reyes, president and founder of Reyes Entertainment, a Hollywood, California-based public relations and marketing agency. "They are able to see an evolution in content offered."
Much of the Latin American-owned media reports heavily on Hispanic singers, actors, celebrities, and trends that are increasingly influencing U.S. pop culture, Mr. Reyes adds.
On the other hand, critics say, Latin American-owned media that target U.S. Hispanics don't reflect their culture. That's especially true for second- and third-generation Hispanics, and that's where U.S.-based Hispanic-oriented media has an edge, Mr. Reyes says. The leading players targeting young Hispanics are Los Angeles-based English-language cable network Sí TV, MTV Tr3s – the music video network's bilingual, youth-oriented cable network – and Miami-based Telemundo's Mun2, which targets young Hispanics mostly in English.
The Big Guys
Nowhere is the globalization of Hispanic media more evident than in the Hispanic advertising industry. Nearly every advertising conglomerate has a Hispanic agency that they acquired or started in-house. Advertising giants with Hispanic units include London-based WPP, Paris-based Publicis Groupe, and New York's trio of The Interpublic Group of Companies, Omnicom Group, and Euro RSCG Worldwide. Some conglomerates own more than one Hispanic agency. For example, WPP owns The Bravo Group and New York-based Winglatino.
Conglomerate-backed Hispanic agencies make it tougher for small independents to compete for accounts. The theme of this year's conference of the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA) was "Are Hispanic Advertising Agencies Dying?" Of course not, convention attendees concluded. But AHAA executives say they raised the question partly to examine how agencies are rethinking their approach to the Hispanic market partly due to competition for ad dollars against agencies owned by global companies.
"The smaller agencies have a little bit more of a struggle. We have to fight for bigger accounts," says Barbara Ruano, CEO of Huntington Beach, California-based independent PlanetWoot.
Eduardo Bottger, president and executive creative director of Tustin, California-based independent alPunto Advertising says: "Ten years ago, we would go up against five Hispanic agencies during the first stage of competing for an account. Now some of our clients say they start with up to 30 Hispanic agencies."
Larger independents tend to fare better than the smaller ones. Miami-based independent Zubi Advertising is one of the 10 largest Hispanic agencies in the nation. "Hispanic shops of the big agencies have more resources due to their size and can borrow resources from their parent company, but we are more than holding our own," says Michelle Zubizarreta, Zubi's chief administrative officer.
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