Hispanic TV Summit: Ad Buys Go Beyond Univision

Buyers think broadly, but viewers are all over the dial

The spirited session "Planning, Buying & Selling Media on Hispanic TV" might as well have been called "Where to Put Your Money Other Than Univision," quipped moderator Laura Martinez, and the panelists agreed. Media buyers reflexively gear their multicultural spend toward Univision without considering networks and channels that might be a closer content fit for their clients, said the panelists.

"There is no risk in doing cable," said Fox Hispanic Media Group SVP Tom Maney. "The only risk is the beat-down you might get from your Univision rep when you tell him you're cutting back."

But the panelists insisted that Univision isn't the culprit-that media buyers should be redirecting ad dollars from English-language TV into the Spanish-language networks to better reflect the Hispanic community's growth in the U.S. Spanish-speakers are still seen as niche, they said, and media buyers don't think of studying Hispanic growth as part of their job, added Vidal Partnership Partner/Chief Strategy Officer Antonio Ruiz. "They see it was the multicultural marketing manager's job," he said. "They don't see it as the market in general-they see it as the Hispanic market."

Results from the 2010 Census, scheduled to be revealed later this year, will change perceptions about the Hispanic community, believed the panelists. While some marketers realize just how much buying power that community has-and target their buys accordingly-the Census should bring the others up to speed. "It will open a few eyes for some of those laggards," said Maney, who pointed out that the $350 billion worth of Hispanic buying power revealed in the last Census may jump to over a trillion.

Other panelists included RCN International Distribution SVP Daija Arias, NCC SVP of Marketing and Business Development Andrew Capone, and Wing President/CEO Alain Groenendaal