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People en Español has spent the last 17 years covering Hispanic and general-interest subjects, almost always entirely in Spanish. It ran a bilingual issue in 2002, but hasn't returned to English since, according to the magazine. Now the June issue will break from tradition with a significant chunk of English-language content.
It arrives as part of Chica, an insert with six pages of editorial content and six pages of ads from L'Oreal's Maybelline New York and Garnier brands. L'Oreal paid in the mid-six figures for the ads, according to a person familiar with the deal.
It's partly a test to see if adding English-language content will help the magazine grow its audience among Hispanic millennials, according to People en Español Publisher Monique Manso. "The goal would be to have this become a more regular part of our conversation with our audience," she said. There are no plans to start publishing in English only, she added.
The English-language insert was not created at the behest of the advertiser, Ms. Manso said, nor anything to do with the print edition's declining ad pages. Through the May issue, print ad pages are down 17%, according to Media Industry Newsletter. They slipped 4% last year as a whole.
"Our research showed that Latinas don't want to be treated only as a Latina or an American," Ms. Manso said. "They want you, as an editor, to recognize their duality."
The monthly title is part of Time Inc.'s big stable of magazine brands, which also includes Sports Illustrated, Fortune and InStyle. It features articles and photos of Hispanic celebrities, such as Chica's cover subject, Genesis Rodriquez, who has starred in Telemundo telenovelas as well as NBC's "Days of Our Lives," HBO's "Entourage" and several movies, both in English and Spanish.
Second- and third-generation Hispanics like Ms. Rodriguez are exactly the kind of consumers marketers are eager to reach. Ad spending on Hispanic media climbed 11% to $7.9 billion in 2012, according to Ad Age's Hispanic Fact Pack, faster than the general market.
Magazines like Hearst's Cosmopolitan and Woman's Day and Conde Nast's Glamour have introduced sibling publications geared at Latinas. Time Inc.'s All you included a 12-page insert called Celebraciones in its November issue, with articles on holidays and family gatherings for Hispanics. It's planning another Celebraciones this year.
But People en Español is the biggest U.S. Hispanic magazine by ad revenue, more than twice the size of Latina Media Ventures' Latina, with 2012 ad revenue of $83 million and $33 million respectively, according to Ad Age's Hispanic Fact Pack. Reaching Hispanics through English-language media is increasingly common; Latina magazine is published mostly in English, as is Hearst Corp.'s Cosmopolitan for Latinas, a twice-yearly magazine launched in 2012.
L'Oreal's interest in Chica stems from bilingual and bicultural Latina millennials being "beauty junkies," according to Daniel Villarroel, assistant VP-integrated marketing for Maybelline New York, Garnier and Essie. "We want to reach her and speak to her with relevant content for her needs, regardless of language," he said in an email. "People en Español and Chica will allow us to do this."
L'Oreal is the 7th biggest advertiser in Hispanic media, and the second-largest in Hispanic magazines after Procter & Gamble. In 2012, L'Oreal spent almost $88 million in Hispanic media, including $23 million in magazines, according to the Hispanic Fact Pack.
Media buyers gave People en Español credit for breaking from tradition, but they were also perplexed by the move. "If I buy something in one language, I don't expect the other language to be there," a media buyer said. "My initial reaction was that they're out of their minds," the buyer continued, "but when I thought about it more, I started giving them credit because they have content you can't get anywhere."
People en Español's total paid and verified circulation of 554,935 through the last six months of 2013 was essentially flat compared with the same period the year prior, according to its report with the Alliance for Audited Media.
Contributing: Laurel Wentz