At least 20 publications are available to Hispanic women on topics such as beauty, fashion, home decorating and parenting. Formats are offered in Spanish, English or -- as in the case of Mandalay Publications' Latina and Estylo -- a mix of the two.
AUDITED CIRCULATION AN ISSUE
The issue of third-party circulation measurement continues to be a stumbling block, however, to buying ads in these titles for some general marketers. Most titles offer publishers' statements with circulation information to current and perspective advertisers.
"It's very important for a magazine to be audited. It assures you that you're reaching what you're paying for," says Daisy Exposito, president of Young & Rubicam's Hispanic affilliate Bravo Group, New York.
Titles audited by the Audit Bureau of Circulations include People en Espanol with 206,222; Cosmopolitan en Espanol with 38,290; Vanidades Continental with 78,198; and Cristina La Revista with 91,608. ABC says Latina has applied to be audited.
Latina Style currently is being audited by BPA International, according to Anna Maria Arias, publisher and editor.
"It's certainly getting easier and easier every year" to get advertisers, Ms. Arias says. "But it's also very competitive now. Having your [publication] audited gives you more validity."
While the category is becoming more competitive, some advertisers remain skeptical.
"My biggest impediment is having advertisers sit across from me telling me Latinos do not read, and that print is not the way to reach the Hispanic market," says Lisa Quiroz, publisher of Time Inc.'s People en Espanol. About 80% of People en Espanol buyers are female, says Ms. Quiroz.
Traditionally, TV and radio are the primary avenues to the Hispanic consumer. According to Hispanic Business, about $39 million was spent on magazine advertising in 1997 compared with $375 million on local and national radio and $780 million on TV.
"Five to 10 years ago, they didn't even want the media kit," says Madelin Bosakewich, publisher of Glamour en Espanol. She says her magazine carries ads for marketers such as L'Oreal's Cosmair, Estee Lauder and Mary Kay Cosmetics.
According to Strategy Research Corp., Hispanic women between the ages of 18 and 49 comprise a little more than 23% of the total Hispanic population. The median age for Hispanic women is about 25.6 years. They make more than half of all the grocery purchase decisions and are much more likely than men to go on a big shopping trip alone or with children.
Hispanic women between the ages of 18 and 49 also are frequent users of hair coloring, home permanent treatments and nail polish.
Ads from major cosmetic marketers including L'Oreal and Revlon can be seen in publications such as Glamour en Espanol and People en Espanol.
"In the past couple of years, [Hispanic] print has exploded because there's a market and a consumer need for that product," says Leon Potasinski, VP-media director at La Agencia de Orci, Los Angeles. Orci handles Hispanic market advertising for American Honda Motor Co., which advertises in Latina.
Mr. Potasinski says he has seen his clients' budgets for Hispanic media more than double, but he would not offer specific figures.
SALES INCREASES LINKED TO ADS
"It's based on results," says Mr. Potasinski, who explained that companies such as Honda are spending more on these titles because they see sales increases related to the targeted marketing.
Publishers are reporting that many of their readers tend to be college educated and employed full- or part-time. The median age is 29 for publications such as Latina, a joint venture by Alegre Enterprises and Essence Communications, and Glamour en Espanol, produced by Ideas Publishing Group under license from Conde Nast Publications.
According to a 1996 study conducted by Market Segment Research & Consulting, 67.8% of U.S. Hispanic women surveyed between the ages of 25 and 44 agreed with the statement: "Once I find a brand I like, it is difficult to get me to change brands."
About 69% of women age 25 to 34 and 57% of those age 35 to 44 also agreed that "there should be advertising directed specifically to Hispanic consumers."
BIG PUBLISHERS LEND CREDIBILITY
According to Ms. Exposito, titles backed by major publishing companies have provided credibility to the genre in the eyes of marketers. For example, a Mary Kay spokeswoman says the cosmetics marketer advertises in Glamour en Espanol because "although their circulation is not huge, they have an excellent background. Glamour in English is very popular."
Time Inc., Conde Nast and Hearst already have ventured into this arena. Hachette Filipacchi's Woman's Day en Espanol will make its debut in fall 1999.
LONG-TIME PLAYER NETS REWARD
Most of these general-market publishers have jumped in after seeing the successes of older publishing companies in this market, such as Editorial Televisa, publisher of 18 U.S. Hispanic titles, the majority aimed at women.
According to Enrique J. Perez, international ad director for Editorial Televisa, ad revenue for all titles has quintupled since 1990.
Ad pages also have increased from 1,000 in 1990 to 200,913 last year, says National Sales Manager Roberto Sroka.
The oldest magazines in this genre include Editorial Televisa's Vanidades and Buenhogar, the Spanish-language version of Good Housekeeping produced in a joint venture with Hearst Corp. Both titles are more than 20 years old; Buenhogar is still not audited.
Other Editorial Televisa titles include Harper's Bazaar en Espanol, produced in a joint venture with Hearst, and Marie Claire, produced under license from Groupe Marie Claire of France.
GLOSSY FORMAT WINS FAVOR
Smaller publishing companies, which produce titles such as Latina, Estylo and Latina Style, also are getting more ad support because they offer the same glossy format general-market advertisers prefer.
As a result, says Christy Haubegger, publisher of Latina, marketers such as Tommy Hilfiger, Timex, Lancome and Liz Claiborne have chosen to advertise in her publication, although they do not usually advertise in Hispanic publications.
"We've isolated this extremely attractive group within the Hispanic market," says Ms. Haubegger, who notes that Latina ad pages have increased from 17 in the 1996 launch issue to 56 by this September's issue.
AUTO IS A HOT CATEGORY
In addition to clothing and cosmetic companies, automobile marketers recognize these publications as a place to hit the target. General Motor Corp.'s Chevrolet and Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America advertise in Latina. Honda advertises in Latina and Estylo. Toyota Motor Sales USA buys ads in Estylo.
While many advertisers do want the assurance that only an audit can bring, Mr. Potasinksi notes: "You do want some kind of comfort that you're going to get what you're buying, but if you wait until a [new] magazine is audited, you might miss out on a good opportunity or good deal."