Hispanic-Media Spending Posts Biggest Decline Yet

Autos, Retailers Down, While Telcos, Satellite TV Are Bright Spots

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Dollars in millions. Media from TNS Media Intelligence includes Spanish-language TV, magazines and newspapers.

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Advertising in Spanish-language media fell 6.58% in the first half of 2009 in a decline that is unprecedented in the U.S. Hispanic market but less than half the 15.4% drop Nielsen recorded for the general market compared with the first half of last year.

The top 50 advertisers in Hispanic media spent 5.6% less during the first half of this year, compared with the same period in 2008, according to TNS Media Intelligence. Three of the top 10 -- Procter & Gamble Co., Johnson & Johnson and Toyota Motor Corp. -- cut their spending 20% or more.

While all the carmakers and most of the retailers among the top 50 Hispanic advertisers were down by double digits in ad spending -- with the exception of Home Depot, up 11.9% -- the brightest spots were telecommunications marketers and satellite TV companies.

Some marketers are doing more with less. Hispanic agency Conill used radio with great impact by creating a spot during a traffic report in which the reporter described freeway conditions amid clunking sounds, then advised listeners who thought the noise was coming from their cars to buy a certified preowned Toyota. Other spots interrupted music with grating noises and the same message.

Those radio spots were favorites at the recent judging for Ad Age's Hispanic Creative Advertising Awards. The winners will be announced Sept. 18 at an awards show in Miami and Sept. 21 in Ad Age and on AdAge.com.

A few marketers are spending much more this year. General Mills upped its Hispanic media budget 121% to $26.4 million in the first half of 2009, jumping from near the bottom of the top 50 Hispanic marketers almost into the top 10.

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