Univision: HBC Deal Good for Hispanic Ad Sales


Some 60% of major U.S. advertisers don’t use Spanish-language advertising, and Univision Communications Inc. believes its acquisition of Hispanic Broadcasting Corp. will help to convert the nonbelievers at a faster pace.

That’s what company executives told investors at the Goldman Sachs Group Inc. media conference in New York Wednesday.

The idea is to get the unconverted to buy radio first, which is cheaper than TV but has a proven track record of success. Then, once they’re hooked on radio, the tack would be to upgrade them over time to TV.

"It’s a huge opportunity," said McHenry Tichenor, who continues to run HBC as a unit of Univision. "We think we can accelerate that [conversion] rate with the merger." The strategy, he added, is to get advertisers to buy the notion that "the branding power of TV and the promotion drive of radio" will equal marketing success.

Even before the merger, the two companies used the strategy, said Ron Furman, head of ad sales for Univision.

Case in point: Wendy’s International Inc. "They broke into Hispanic on radio and moved into TV," he said. Wendy’s has since maintained and increased budgets in both media, Furman added.