Their Fair Share

Against the backdrop of stunning figures from the 2000 Census that reveal that Hispanics are now the majority minority in the U.S., members of the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies convened their annual meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz., in an atmosphere that could only be described as joyous.

“We want our fair share, finally,” declared Daisy Exposito-Ulla, president and chief creative officer of the Bravo Group in New York and the outgoing president of AHAA, as she opened the confab. That fair share, at the very minimum, should be 8 percent of total U.S. media expenditures, said Carlos Santiago, co-chair and partner at Santiago and Valdes Solutions, an Hispanic marketing consultant. Currently, that share is less than 2 percent, Santiago noted. Hispanics, numbered at 35.3 million not including 4 million residents of Puerto Rico, now make up some 12.5 percent of the U.S. population and are by far the fastest-growing ethnic group, according to the Census Bureau.

“This could be called the Millennium of the Hispanic,” said Gloria Gutierrez, assistant director of marketing for the Census Bureau.

AHAA and Hispanic media outlets have spent much of the past decade trying to convince U.S. marketers that Hispanic-directed media is far more effective and efficient in delivering advertising messages to Hispanic communities than mainstream, English-language media.

Still, by the estimates of the three Hispanic-directed TV networks–Univision, Telemundo and the nascent Azteca America–only about 20 percent of U.S. television advertisers also buy advertising on their networks.