The Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies released its 2010 Report on Hispanic Advertising Spending, which revealed that there is a connection between consistent and significant investment allocations of more than 14.2 percent in Hispanic marketing and high levels of overall topline revenue growth. The report also shows strong 2010 recovery in Hispanic ad spending across the top 500 advertisers — reversing a two-year slowdown, increasing the aggregate Hispanic ad spend by 14 percent over 2009 levels to $4.3 billion in Hispanic media.

The AHAA analysis found that there is indeed a strong, positive relationship between the percentage of overall ad spend allocation to Hispanic media and a company’s revenue growth.  For Best-In-Class companies, which are defined as U.S. companies with a Hispanic allocation of marketing dollars of more than 14.2 percent, the percent of ad spend allocated to Hispanic markets is a very  important determinant of a company’s overall revenue growth rate. Consistent ad allocations greater than 14.2 percent explain about half of the best-in-class companies’ revenue growth rate. The AHAA study found with a confidence level of 99 percent that a Best-In-Class company allocating one quarter of its ad spend to Hispanic media over five years, would generate annual revenue growth of 6.7 percent.

Among the best-in-class group, companies with a strong correlation between allocation and revenue growth  include: AFC Enterprises (Popeyes®  Chicken, Church’s Chicken, Cinnabon®), Allstate, AutoZone, Colgate-Palmolive, Collective Brands (Payless Shoesource), DirecTV, Domino’s Pizza, Echostar Communications, Heineken, JC Penney, Rent-A-Center, SAB Miller, State Farm and Vivendi.

Coming on the heels of the recession, Hispanic media spend by the Top 500 advertisers stood only $163 million below its peak in 2007 showing a strong recovery. However, unlike the general market which saw budgets slashed during the 2008 recession, the Hispanic advertising industry has remained constant at five to six percent of total advertising budgets, from 2006 to 2010.  Showing a steep turnaround in 2010, the Top 500 reversed the previous two year trend returning over $500 million to Hispanic media, intensifying their ad spend by 14 percent over 2009 levels.

Further underscoring steps toward recovery, the data by category in the AHAA study found:

  • At $707 million, Packaged Goods advertisers, including Colgate, General Mills and Mars, are targeting Hispanic consumers, increasing $140 million in ad spend over 2009 and increasing their share of allocation to Hispanics by 1.6 points to 6 percent.
  • The converging Telecom & Subscription TV categories, including Metro PCS, Verizon and AT&T,  follow closely with $502 million or 9 percent and $349 million or 13 percent Hispanic ad spend and allocation respectively, investing $850 million combined in 2010 and adding $415 million to Hispanic media over 2009.
  • Hispanic ad spend in the Auto Insurance category increased by $97 million over 2009 to 12.5 percent allocation while Non-Hispanic spend decreased by $73 million over the same period.
  • With a remarkable jump in Hispanic allocation from 0.5 percent to 9.8 percent, Fitness-Sports companies, including Bally’s (Harbinger Capital), became a reemerging category in the Latino community.
  • From 2006 to 2010, the expenditures by Financial Services- Tax Preparation & Other category has grown by 9.6 percent to a 24 percent allocation of overall spend to Hispanic in 2010.
  • During the same period, Beer advertisers, including Grupo Modelo, SAB Miller, and Anheuser InBev, have remained loyal to the Hispanic community as they allocated 15 percent or about $150 million to the Hispanic segment.
  • The Financial Services categories have tripled their focus on Hispanic media since 2009 reaching $215 million in 2010.
  • Similarly, all Insurance categories have experienced increases.

“Companies now understand that the Hispanic market is not going to simply assimilate and go away, which means that a targeted approach will deliver long-term benefits,” said Roberto Orci, AHAA president and CEO of Acento Advertising. “This research underscores that companies can’t just pop in-and-out of the Hispanic market as a fad and see benefits – real bottom-line benefits come from consistent integrated approaches. Companies must get on the train or risk being left behind and becoming irrelevant.”

AHAA has divided Hispanic advertisers into five categories:

  • Best in Class, defined by their allocation of more than 14.2 percent of overall ad budgets to Hispanic media;
  • Leaders, companies which allocate between 6.4 and 14.2 percent;
  • Followers, which allocate between 3.6 and 6.4 percent;
  • Laggards, defined by their Hispanic allocations of 1.0 to 3.6 percent; and
  • Denial, defined by their allocation of less than one percent.

Best in Class:

  • Three out of five Hispanic Best-In-Class categories, Subscription TV, Auto Insurance & Financial Services –Tax Preparation, catapulted a total spend of $400 million.
  • The Beer category maintained its Best-In-Class standing and edged 1.2 share points in allocation to 15 percent.
  • Direct Consumer Marketing was the only Best-In-Class category that decreased its spending, reducing spend by 33 percent over its pre-recession level of $118 million in 2006.


  • The Automotive categories in total, manufacturers and retailers combined, have shown an aggregate decrease of approximately $259 million since 2006. In contrast, all other 50 categories in aggregate have shown an upturn of $280 million or 8 percent in the same period.
  • Among Hispanic allocation Leaders, the Telecom category grew the most, nearly $170 million or 51 percent since 2006.
  • The Restaurants-QSR category also showed a significant increase of 30 percent or $70 million in incremental investment to arrive at $301 million in 2010.
  • The Home Improvement & Builders category rebounded from the recession dip increasing 6 percent over its 2006 base of $91 million.
  • Among 2010 Leader categories, only Government & Lottery and Retail Mass Merchandisers-Department Stores experienced decreases in overall spending.


  • Four categories among Followers increased their dollar spend since 2006, led by Packaged Goods especially Food manufacturers within it, which boosted their investments in Hispanic consumers by 44 percent compared to only 16 percent up among Non-Hispanic traditional media.
  • Both the Automotive Manufacturer and Media & Entertainment categories experienced decreases in excess of $150 million each.
  • Among the Followers, only four categories experienced decreases in Hispanic allocation from 2006 to 2010, with the sharpest decline coming from the Automotive Industry, auto manufacturers and auto retailers combined, with a $259 million decrease in Hispanic ad spend.


  • Amongst the Laggards, the Pharmaceutical and Automotive Dealers-Assn categories experienced decreases in excess of $50 million each.
  • The Financial Services category has increased its focus on the Hispanic segment with both the subcategories of Investment Firms and Banks-Mortgages showing healthy recovery.


  • Among the 13 Denial categories, all but three categories, Diet-Supplement-Vitamins, Insurance-Life, and Luxury Brand, experienced decreases in Hispanic allocation.
  • The Private Investment category took the biggest loss among Denial with an approximate decline of $86 million.


Ad spending data was collected from The Nielsen Company. The study was developed and executed by the Santiago Solutions Group, a growth strategy consultancy with methodological review by Dr. Cristina Garcia, professor of statistics at USC from 2008 to 2011. Santiago Solutions Group analyzed all 35,000 U.S. advertisers and their allocation trends to Hispanic media for five years between 2006 and 2010. The Top 500 Advertisers were grouped into five levels of Hispanic allocation and each company was paired to the available published revenue data for the five year period. Various regression analyses were applied to identify any correlation between the percentage of advertising allocation dedicated to Hispanic and the company’s compounded annual revenue growth rates.

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