Ad Growth Will Slow

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New York— Advertising aimed at Hispanic audiences will continue to grow at a healthy rate next year, even though the “salad days” in the expansion of ad spending are over, a media analyst said Wednesday at the Fourth Annual Hispanic Television Summit here.

Advertising on television, on radio, in print and on the Internet aimed at Hispanics will expand at a projected rate of 8% next year, to $4.1 billion, according to Lee Westerfield, managing director of BMO Capital Markets. By contrast, overall advertising spending in the United States will grow only 3%, he said.

“We are, in my judgment, at the peak of the expansion of advertising,” Westerfield said. “We have been enjoying the salad days of expansion.”

A “down cycle” is looming in 2007, he added.

Westerfield’s projections indicated that even the heady growth of advertising spending on Hispanic audiences is slowing. The projected growth rate of 8% next year for advertising aimed at Hispanics compares with 13%, 7.5% and 11.8% growth, respectively, in the past three years, according to Westerfield.