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IAB Seeks Shop to Tout Hispanics as Ad Target

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Hispanics spend more time online than the general population, at least according to one often-cited study. To promote such statistics and get more advertisers to target Latinos online, the Interactive Advertising Bureau's new Hispanic Committee is enlisting agency help.

"We thought, 'We're in marketing—let's do some marketing,' " said Liz Sarachek, executive director of sales at Yahoo! en Español, who is leading the committee's efforts. The committee plans to issue requests for proposals to 12-15 Hispanic and general-market shops in early February for a pro-bono assignment aimed at marketing and agency decision makers.

"We believe the opportunity to play an integral role in continuing the growth of this industry will be a great incentive to an agency," added Sarachek. The group expects that some of its 11 charter members, which include La Opinion Digital, Univision and Terra Lycos, will donate online and print media for the campaign.

Marketers are already starting to understand that the demographic is ripe for growth. Intercontinental Hotels and Resorts, for one, is in the midst of rolling out a multicultural marketing initiative that includes a Spanish-language reservations engine on the Internet and premiere placement on AOL Latino, said Del Ross, director of global e-commerce.

According to comScore Media Metrix, more than 14 million U.S. Hispanics access the Internet, or about 36 percent of the total U.S. Hispanic population. And Hispanics view 15 percent more pages and spend 9 percent more time online than the general domestic market, according to the New York-based research firm.

"Now that there's critical mass online, a lot of advertisers are wanting to extend their media and integrate their media buy online as well," said Peter Blacker, vp of international and U.S. Hispanic interactive marketing at America Online and chairman of the 21-person IAB Hispanic Committee. "There's a need for one common voice and one common currency to be able to do the strategy and planning that's necessary."

During the past few years, the IAB has developed measurement, privacy, e-mail and ad-unit guidelines, but the Hispanic segment has been slow to follow suit. "I get a lot of conflicting information. With the current resources, we can't be as precise and as measurement-oriented as we want to be," said Hector Orcí, co-chairman of Los Angeles-based La Agencia de Orcí & Asociados.

Explained Sarachek: "It's a new market, and with any new market, you don't have the resources and tools of more established markets."