N.Y. Panel Observes Latino Buying Power


The Latino marketplace will continue to grow and Hispanics will remain hard to reach — but the payoff in terms of spending can be huge.

Those were the basic themes — ones familiar to cable operators looking to add Latinos to their subscriber rolls — discussed during a panel called “The Nuevo Majority” at the Museum of Television & Radio here Sept. 21, part of “Advertising Week in New York City” festivities.

Isabel Valdes, marketer, author and principal of Valdes Consulting, pegged the “true size” of the U.S. Hispanic market at some 48.6 million — a total that includes 4 million people living in Puerto Rico. That number would represent 16.5% of the U.S. population, with that ratio expected to jump as 500,000 Hispanic households are added each year.

To reach them remains no easy proposition.

Jackie Bird, CEO of Grey Global Group’s Wing Latino unit, said “culturally relevant messaging” is critical. Incorporating the Latino aspects at the outset of a campaign can be critical to its success, she added.

Bird noted that it was not prudent for marketers to “adjust their general market campaigns” to attempt to meet Hispanic, Asian and African-American targets.

All of the panelists — including New York Deputy Mayor Carol Robles-Roman, who leads the Big Apple’s Latino Entertainment Media Commission — emphasized the value of grassroots and event marketing as part of integrated campaigns.