Upstart V-me Scores Ad Deals

NEW YORK Upstart Hispanic digital network V-me has lined up ad partnerships for 2008-09 with 25 major national advertisers with about six weeks to go before closing its first upfront season.

On board are marketers including Allstate, Kellogg’s, Procter & Gamble, Walgreens and some 20 others who have locked in partnerships such as sponsorships, product integrations and other deals centered around V-me’s diverse programming of lifestyle, news, nature, entertainment, kids, technology and current affairs.

The total value and details of the ad partnerships were not disclosed, though the deals are said to include various presenting sponsorships, or entitlements, of V-me programs and sponsorships of genre-specific shows that the network schedules each night such as miniseries and Latin cinema, per V-me.

“Advertisers are looking for something different because the Hispanic market is hungry for something new,” said Carmen DiRienzo, president of V-me. “The fact that we appeal to advertisers speaks to how much they are looking for alternatives to Univision, Telemundo and cable.”

All of V-me’s programming genres and dayparts, as well as the promise of the network’s widening national distribution, contributed to its success in luring new advertisers, she added.

“The fact that this is happening in a down economy is evidence of the importance of the Hispanic market to advertisers,” DiRienzo said. “They are reacting to the idea that our audience is additive because this is an audience that would normally watch our programming and genres in English and now they have a Spanish alternative.”

V-me currently reaches more than 50 percent of U.S. Hispanic homes and is expected to reach 80 percent of U.S. Hispanic households following the transition to digital in February 2009, per Nielsen Media Research.

“V-me is bringing choices to viewers in Spanish that appeal to their aspirations and their desire to be entertained with genres of programming that until now have only been available in English,” said Terri McKinzie, vp and media director, Tapestry, Chicago.