NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Mark Lopez, a veteran U.S. Hispanic internet executive, is joining Google this month as head of U.S. Hispanic, a new position at the company. Mr. Lopez, 40, has been chief operations officer at Terra Networks USA since 2007.
Mr. Lopez, who will be based in New York, will report to Google's country manager in Mexico and work closely with the U.S. sales operation, he said. John Farrell, Google's country manager for Mexico and U.S. Hispanic, has taken the initiative over the last year to plot a U.S. Hispanic strategy for Google. That includes the hiring of Mr. Lopez, and a study about U.S. Hispanics and the internet that Google plans to unveil at a half-day event in January in New York. Google already works with some advertisers in the U.S. Hispanic market, mostly in the package goods and airline categories.
"Mark is responsible for driving our sales efforts by working with the U.S. sales teams and with Mexico where we service our accounts," said Mr. Farrell, who was in New York to attend the Ad:tech conference and run the New York marathon on Sunday.
"[Hispanic] is really the growth market in the U.S.," Mr. Lopez said. There are big opportunities for Google in search, display and mobile, he said. Mr. Farrell pointed out that key words in Spanish often sell for a fraction of the price of the same search term in English.
Mr. Lopez starts at Google on Nov. 29. His last day at Terra is Nov. 12.
Google sites rank No. 2 to Microsoft among the top 10 web properties among Hispanic users, according to ComScore data published in Ad Age's Hispanic Fact Pack (Yahoo sites and Facebook.com are Nos. 3 and 4). According to ComScore, 12.6% of internet users in the U.S. are Hispanic.
But Google sites aren't measured in a new Hispanic Focus category that ComScore started this year to aggregate sites that target Hispanics. Previously, ComScore aggregated sites by reach, so data mainly reflected the largest sites even though the proportion of Hispanics was low. In the Hispanic Focus category, sites are aggregated by composition, or how many users are Hispanic.
Mr. Lopez, who has co-chaired the Interactive Advertising Bureau's multicultural committee for the last two-and-a-half years, worked with ComScore to help create the Hispanic Focus category. Prior to Terra, he was publisher of multicultural audiences at AOL from 2004 to 2007.