In a striking reversal of the current downturn in adspend, twenty of the top twenty-five advertisers to US Hispanics last year increased their expenditure as the Latino market defied America’s recession. And of those twenty-five, just one – Tricon Global Restaurants – reduced its budget.

This contrasts starkly with the general advertising scenario, in which fifty-three of the top hundred advertisers slashed their adspend during the first nine months of 2001.

Believes Jessica Pantanini, who heads Bcom3 Group’s multicultural media-buying shop Tapestry: “Marketers are capitalizing on the market segments that tend to over-deliver in consumption and contribution to business, and where there isn't a lot of competition for share of voice.”

Heading the Latino spend trend, reports Hispanic Business magazine, are car makers, package-goods marketers and telecommunications companies, with the largest increases – upward of 20 percent – flowing from Procter & Gamble, Ford Motor Company, AT&T and General Motors.

Pantanini opines: “If you get into the Hispanic market before your competition or do more than the competition is doing today, an advertiser can have the type of relationship with the Hispanic market that they could only dream about in the general market. And, they can do it cheaper than they can in the general market because the audience isn't as fragmented.”

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