Latino Trends Fuel Media, Ad Changes


Latino Trends Fuel Media, Ad Changes

Denver Post - July 11, 2004

Large corporations are continuing to chase the booming Hispanic population, based on a range of census and demographic trends:

The U.S. Hispanic population grew 61 percent between 1990 and 2003 to reach 35.3 million people. That makes Hispanics the fastest-growing group in America, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Colorado's Hispanic market is the eighth-largest in the United States, according to a study by the Selig Center for Economic Growth.

A number of new U.S. Spanish-language TV, radio and print publications have popped up in the last two years: Azteca America, ESPN Deportes, HBO Latino, Showtime Latino, People Español, a number of Spanish-language radio stations and a Spanish-language daily newspaper in Dallas.

Advertising dollars targeted to Hispanic magazines grew 24 percent between 2002 and 2004, according to Media Economics Group in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Total spending on Hispanic advertising more than doubled to $3.4 billion between 1997 and 2003, according to the American Hispanic Advertising Association. Among the biggest spenders: Procter & Gamble Co., General Motors, McDonald's and Sears Roebuck & Co.

Still, advertising targeted to Hispanics makes up an average of just 2.4 percent of corporate ad budgets, the association reports. And companies often miss the mark with Spanish-language pitches, claims TransPerfect Translations, a New York translation firm.

A 2003 survey by TransPerfect found 57 percent of people who speak Spanish - and speak English as a second language - said they've seen advertising that is incorrectly translated from English.

Nearly half of them say if an ad is poorly translated, they tune out the message. TransPerfect found the following mistranslations or misuses in ads targeted to Hispanics:

"Point" was mistranslated as "puta," which means prostitute, instead of "punta."

"Census" was mistranslated as "sesos," which means brain, instead of "censo."

"Huahua," which means bus to people from Cuba and Puerto Rico, also means baby to people from Chile.

"There are risks if you go at it," said Jose Lopez-Varela, who heads up the Hispanic advertising arm of Hill Holliday in Miami.

—Jennifer Alsever

About TransPerfect
With revenue of over $250 million, TransPerfect is the largest privately held language services provider in the world. From offices in 66 cities on 5 continents, TransPerfect offers a full range of services in over 100 languages to multinationals worldwide. With a global network of over 4,000 linguists and subject-area specialists, TransPerfect is the largest translation company to be fully ISO 9001:2008 and EN 15038:2006 certified. TransPerfect is headquartered in New York and has regional headquarters in London and Hong Kong. For more information, please visit our website at


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