Language Barrier?

A planned magazine targeting Latina teens–written entirely in English–faces skepticism from media buyers who feel Spanish is still the best way to reach that market.
Bill Ryan, publisher of Latin Girl (shown here), which debuts Jan. 14, said 90 percent of girls in focus groups “read English because it’s what they’re taught.”
Despite the data, some are unconvinced. Cristina Altieri-Martinez, Latin Girl’s ad director, said large shops sent her to their Spanish-language affiliates, many of which balked at the English format. However, “many Hispanics are not foreign-born or even first generation,” she said.
Esther Novak, president of ethnic marketing firm Vanguard Communications, agreed: “To deny the relevance of English-language media targeting Hispanic consumers is not looking at the total picture.”
Advertisers acknowledge the market’s complexity, but target segments within it, said Monica Gadsby, director of Hispanic media at Leo Burnett’s Starcom unit. An English magazine “may be off-strategy [Latin Girl is] going after a very specific niche.” –Emily Fromm