Latinos, Inc.: The Marketing and Making of a People


In a fascinating discussion of how populations have become reconfigured as market segments, she shows that the market and marketing discourse become important terrains where Latinos debate their social identities and public standing. She is the author of Sponsored Identities: Cultural Politics in Puerto Rico The Privilege of Commercial Discourse. Following the Corporate Intellectual: Doing Fieldwork on a Fieldless Site. The Ethnic Division of Cultural Labor. Segmenting and Containing the Market. Maneuvers in the Market.

Producing Culture for the Market The Nation. Nationalism, Nostalgia, and Ethnic Pride. Screening the Image Through Corporate Eyes. The Virginal Mom and Other Negotiations. The Real or Wannabe Hispanic. The Price of Synergy. The Terrain of Latinidad: We did not think of discrimination. And perhaps they were discriminating against us, but we were not aware of it. We just thought that we should speak Spanish because that's what we spoke.

We had not passed through the process that many Puerto Ricans and Mexican Americans had gone [through] where you could not present yourself as Hispanic. You had to hide that you spoke Spanish because you would otherwise be looked down upon. I have Mexican American friends whose mothers packed Mexican food for lunch and who threw it away before arriving at school, just because they knew that if they were caught eating a tortilla or a taco, they'd be hit. And they spent the whole day without food.

I remember traveling in the subway here in New York, back when I used the subway before I had made it in my business, and I saw all of these Puerto Ricans-because most people here were Puerto Ricans back then-and you saw people reading El Diario but covering it up with the Daily News, hiding the fact that they were reading Spanish in public. So the problem was a lack of identity, or more exactly people's shame about their identity.

I know this may sound harsh, but it was a reality that as a general rule people were afraid of their identity and that this was what hurt the market's development the most. It was only with the growth of the media that most Mexican Americans realized that it was OK to speak Spanish; that it was no crime. So the media did contribute extraordinarily to solving the identity problem, which was the greatest problem there. Because the Hispanic market always existed, but the Spanish-speaking Hispanic market had to be created. Not all Cubans I spoke with were as willing as Caballero to talk about racism or to acknowledge the different degrees of discrimination faced by Latinas in the United States.

What most of them did share with Caballero, however, was a tacit agreement to assess the relative pride of Latinas in their culture by imposed standards-mostly by a single variable, their use of Spanish in public life-and hence by the same standards of the recently arrived Latin American entrepreneurs intent on creating "Hispanics" as a Spanish-speaking market. Still, the lack of experience with U. They, unlike their U.

As will be evident later, they are indeed aware of racism and see Hispanic marketing as a tool for promoting pride in all things Latin. Our discussions, however, were characterized by a distancing on their part that allowed them to position themselves as the primary examples of Hispanidad and the "uplifters" of all things Hispanic, while distinguishing themselves from most Hispanics. The following statement by Carlos Barba is evocative of this type of positioning: This is a business, but at the same time, this has also been my life's mission involving defending human values, those of the Hispanic community, so that we get the respect that we deserve and we have equal opportunities with the rest of U.

Simply put, our mission is to make sure that the Hispanic community gets more respect by helping Hispanics grow professionally and spiritually. To motivate Hispanics so that they register and vote, and to encourage people to preserve our language and our tradition so that we continue being what we are, a humble race but one with a big heart and great ambition. Comments such as these are common among advertising entrepreneurs, who referred to their role as one of uplifting and enlightening Hispanics regarding the "right" way of being Hispanic in this country.

After all, as different as they may in fact be from most U. Hispanics, it is in their self-presentation as Hispanics that their success and legitimacy would reside.

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Hispanic marketing industry is an ethnic division of labor whereby the Latin American corporate intellectuals from middle- and upper-class backgrounds rather than U. Obviously, divisions and hierarchies based on structural or departmental distinctions at different levels and stages of production in various culture industries are common features of the media production process Lutz and Collins Yet beyond these characteristic distinctions, the Hispanic marketing industry's Latin American connections have led to the dominance in the U.

Accordingly, highly privileged and educated Latin American recent arrivals are more likely to be found in creative departments, where demands for "perfect language skills" bar most U. The latter are more common in production or in client services departments, which require what was described to me as "their more Americanized" skills to handle corporate clients or negotiate with other segments of the industry. The industry craves highly educated, bilingual Hispanics whose ethnicity does not present a problem to Anglo clients and who can accurately represent and translate Spanish creative concepts for Anglo clients.

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However, for creative jobs, a "pure Latin American" import coming from one of the major transnational advertising conglomerates in Latin America is the most favored due to his or her "fresh" and untainted language skills. Indeed, during my research, several agencies had just hired someone directly from South America to run their creative departments, following a common pattern in the industry, which still complains of not being able to find creative talent in the United States. This lack of talent is not about lack of education or training.

Many of my Latina students graduating with majors in communications, for instance, would be barred from entry into Hispanic marketing, or pushed to behind-the scenes operations, solely on the basis of their language skills. The inequalities of this ethnic division are evident when we consider that in the advertising industry at large a position as a "creative" on the staff that conceives of an ad's creative strategy is far more visible and prestigious than any other position dealing with research, accounts, or clients.

It is the creative who wins prizes and name recognition, what Dornfeld has called "career capital," based on Bourdieu's discussion of the anti-economic logic that predominates, to various degrees, different fields of cultural production. Beyond financial compensation, such capital provides the creative with prestige and connections in the industry that may allow him to found his own agency at a later time.

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I say "him" purposefully, because gender disparity accompanies this ethnic division of labor. While women have attained positions of power within the industry, the most renowned, or at least many of the most frequently mentioned creatives during the course of my research such as Tony Dieste, Roberto Alcazar, Luis Miguel Messiano, Sergio Alcocer, Jorge Moya were all Latin American--born men, as were most agency directors.

Except for the few fully independent agencies, however, ultimate power is held by the American investors who have bought many of these agencies. Yet, whether Spanish or English is dominant, most Hispanic marketers are at odds with the average Hispanic consumer in terms of class, race, and background. After all, many Hispanic marketers and creatives are highly educated and have even come to the United States with secure jobs in the industry after having worked in transnational advertising companies in their home countries.

At VRM there were six Mexican women who had all worked at Noble and Associates in Mexico and had found employment in the agency through each other's contact.

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In between, Sergio had worked in production in Venezuela, where he met Antonio Barreto, who, though his assistance, eventually also found employment at Castor. This ethnic division of labor is also apparent in the Hispanic entertainment industry. Whereas Univision's programming department has traditionally been dominated by Latin Americans, mostly Cubans, its sales staff at the management level is no longer "Hispanic" but Anglo, recently recruited from major networks like ABC and Fox.

This "vanillization" of the network, as critics have dubbed it, reminds us that while a Hispanic's authenticity may be profitable for creative purposes, it is a hindrance for entering and successfully operating within the inner circles of corporate America. In this realm, Anglos have the contacts and command the greatest authority, as reflected in the record increases in advertising revenues at Univision as a result of their hiring Ronald Furman, Dennis McCauley, and Tom McGarrity, all recruited from major general market stations, to lead its sales team Zbar c: Conversations with some of the station's sales team revealed that it is not their knowledge of the Hispanic market that has made them so successful but their contacts and the legitimacy that is vested in them on the basis of their "whiteness.

As another explained, "Clients are culturally ignorant, and the sales go better if they don't have to worry about saying the wrong or insensitive thing. This infrastructure is guided not solely by the networks' concern with language purity, but also by economic considerations. Just as it is cheaper to produce and export programming to the United States, it is cheaper to film commercials in Mexico and other parts of Latin America. For evidence of the intricate links between Latin American production companies and the U.

Hispanic market, one need only peruse trade publications like Publicidad y Comerciales to see the number of advertisements placed by the latter to attract filming, production, and post-production in Latin American countries. Among other advantages, filming in Latin America frees companies from paying union fees, although I have heard that informal arrangements to waive union fees were a feature of the Miami and Los Angeles production scenes.

However, the advertising staffs' insistence on the supposedly easy access to authentic-looking Latin scenes or the abundance of actors in Latin America were, in my opinion, most revealing of the Latin American biases of this industry. I will return to this issue when discussing the creation of the generic, pan-Hispanic look, but first, it is worth noting that the international connections that characterize the growth and development of the U.

Hispanic marketing industry are far from unique. Increasingly, global culture industries are characterized by an attendant "new international division of cultural labor," whereby, just as has long happened with manufacturing, companies relocate or allocate portions of the production process internationally according to the logic of increased profitability Miller Hispanic marketing industry suggests, however, is that such international arrangements have long been a feature of many so-called local or national culture industries.

Additionally, the Latin American basis of the U. Hispanic market brings to the forefront the ubiquitous issues of authenticity and representativity that accompany such global arrangements. For the historical connections with the Latin American media market have not gone unquestioned by the public, by critics, and by media activists who see them as responsible for perpetuating a Hispano- and Latin American--centered definition of Latinidad that excludes English-dominant U.

The Hispanic networks and media structures have therefore been criticized for erasing Hispanics and turning them into "second-class audiences" not only in the Anglo media but also within the media that are supposed to represent Hispanics in this country Avila Also controversial is the central place of the Spanish language in the industry.

Latinos, Inc. : the marketing and making of a people

While obviously guided by economic considerations, the use of Spanish is at the center of current debates on Hispanic identity and has numerous political implications. Some critics see the networks as agents in the decentering of monolingual nationalism in the United States, while others regard them as promulgating essentialist definitions of identity based on language, definitions which bar second and third generations of Latinas in this country Esparza Before considering these issues, which certainly merit more attention and will continue to surface in different guises throughout this work, I turn first to a key factor that has helped veil this and other disjunctions in the Hispanic advertising industry: Summer radio promotion for the new We are no longer an obscure force, we are finally being recognized.

We are moving forward, and no one can stop us. It is not at all surprising that the listener in the last epigraph above would feel ethnic pride as a result of New York City's Spanish radio station "La Mega" attaining number one status in the Arbitron ratings. Even critics of the station felt that its number one position signaled Latinas' growing, though unrecognized, presence and power in the city. Common categories to encompass peoples of Latin American background in the United States have existed since the nineteenth century.

In New York City, which served as a center for nationalists, revolutionaries, intellectuals, and exiles from Spain, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, "Hispanic" had already become a generalized designation for a number of clubs, churches, and magazines, as well as for the "colonias Hispanas" that have developed in Brooklyn and East Harlem since the turn of the century. Yet only in the s, when the U. This development peaked in the s, when changes in the census categorization of Hispanics that allowed people to identify themselves as of Spanish-Hispanic origin or descent, or as one of the specific Latin American nationalities that were later added to this category, revealed a 53 percent growth in the number of people who categorized themselves as Hispanic Fox The category of "Hispanic" is one that scholars and activists have contested and challenged.

Grouping both Latin American and U. Critics have thus rightfully argued that the homogenization of all Latina subgroups into a common category, be it Hispanic or Latina, involves the depoliticization of the history of conquest and colonization that has affected particular Latina nationalities.

This is why Juan Flores insists on the need to distinguish the processes and circumstances that have led to the continuing relegation of some Latina subgroups, such as Mexicans and Puerto Ricans, to the status of racial or colonial minorities in the United States, despite their U. For others, the problem is not so much the idea of a common category but a problem of nomenclature. Without challenging the need for a common identity term to encompass these diverse populations, some have criticized "Hispanic" for its elitist evocations of Spain, its business connotations, and its imposed status, proposing instead "Latina," a name that is less evocative of ties to Spain, as the rightful political term for this population.

Without engaging in a broader discussion of this category, I will note that, while controversial at the level of politics and scholarship, the official use of a single category for people of Latin American origin or descent has proven to be the most significant force in the marketing industry's development. Advertisers had been lobbying for the acknowledgment of a common Hispanic culture or identity since the s, and this category became the legitimization of their claims and the springboard for the industry's rapid growth after the mids.

As Eduardo Caballero put it, "If the census had not drafted those categories, nothing else would have worked. Based on the census, you can tell an advertiser that in Los Angeles 60 percent of the people are Hispanic and that if they only devoted 1 percent to this market, they'd be losing their money. It's a matter of logic. Most important, the official recognition of "Hispanics" as a distinct population assisted the industry's growth by promoting the view that there are indeed some essential and intrinsic characteristics that all "Hispanics" share.

In light of the growing numbers of Hispanics, its advertisers could now reassure clients that they "knew the market; that they too were Hispanic. Through these claims they have been able to gain an exclusive hold over a growing target market and to turn this industry into a thriving one. Specifically, this category facilitated their appeal for more profitable nationwide campaigns aimed at the totality of the Hispanic market through unique advertising-altogether new campaigns specifically designed to reach the "distinct" Hispanic consumer.

Yet, far from mere fabrications of shrewd business people, these strategies of self-representation point us to yet another recurrent issue affecting this industry from its outset: Such claims would be of little value if they were not predicated on the dominant view that there are indeed some essential and intrinsic commonalities that are shared by all "Hispanics. Thus, when seeking to understand the growth and current operations of the Hispanic marketing industry, we cannot ignore the influence of dominant discourses and categories of identity in the United States, and their appropriation and manipulation by advertisers as a way to extract profit from the market's intrinsic differences and particularities.

As one agency director stated, echoing similar statements on the cultural commonality between agencies and their audiences, "What we still have to convey to our clients is that only a Hispanic can really understand our culture, our way of being and feelings, to produce a truly compelling and relevant campaign. It is not a professional that a client gets when they hire us, but a Hispanic advertising professional" his emphasis. Hispanic ad professionals thus become both victims of U.

Specifically, just as Hispanic creatives and agency owners have construed themselves as representative of all Hispanics, the industry itself has been similarly constituted as a key arena of advocacy and support for the totality of the Hispanic population. A promotion for Zubi Advertising figure 1 , published in Advertising Age and other marketing trade publications, provides a good example of this position.

Latinos, Inc. : the marketing and making of a people / Arlene Dávila - Details - Trove

While the copy compels readers to "Erase Stereotypes" by hiring Zubi, the specialist agency which truly understands the Hispanic market, the image underscores that only a Hispanic advertising agency can uncover the upscale and modern woman who lies beneath the stereotype and the Carmen Miranda sombrero. Similarly, during my interviews, most of the industry's staff repeatedly presented and credited themselves with playing a key role in challenging stereotypes and promoting a more sophisticated view of Hispanics, and with contributing to the increased representation to which, as 11 percent of the population, Hispanics are "entitled.

Undoubtedly, the first generation of Hispanic agencies in the mid s and early s encountered a more hostile context, a less developed media infrastructure, and even less recognition in mainstream society. All founding figures told tales of racism and rejection by corporate clients who were not only unaware of the existence of Latinas, but alarmed at and even afraid about the size of this market, resisting the idea of advertising to what they considered an inferior and impoverished ghetto population.

A former staff member at Univision's sales department now working at Telemundo recalled, I remember being in the middle of a presentation. I was saying that there were nine million Latinas, which of course, I did not know for certain, but I knew he knew even less than I, when all of the sudden, I noticed his face full of fear. He wanted to know where were all of these Latinas, where they lived, in which locations.

He had never realized there were so many Latinas and so close to him, in New York. And I knew that he was not interested in our sales pitch. He just wanted to flee. In light of such experiences, it is not at all surprising that when recalling the strong resistance of corporate clients as well as the larger context of racism that discouraged the teaching of Spanish and its public use, most Hispanic marketers were confident that their industry had helped to promote pride and reverse racism with regard to the Spanish language and Hispanic cultures.

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Indeed, the fact that this industry's inception coincided with civil rights struggles of the s and s is not without important consequences. The larger social and political context of those times became a selling point for these agencies; many agents recalled presenting their work as a venue of representation for the entire Latina population, implying in their sales pitches that they advertised to Latinas in their own "culture" and language with greater claims over identity and representation.

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Later generations of Hispanic advertisers encountered a well-developed nexus of TV stations, advertising agencies, and census data with which to prove the existence of this market. In this context, not only the "political correctness" of selling to Hispanics but its profitability as well have been central in their business presentations.

Never mind here that pitching around profits or tokenism is an imaginary distinction: Still, despite making a distinction between politically correct appeals that is, tokenism and appeals to sheer business profitability, these younger professionals also saw themselves as advocates, and the industry as a forum to valorize the populations they sought to represent. Some even claimed to have joined the industry as a statement of their Latina identity or to discover their roots.

This was the case with Rose Vega, a young woman of Cuban background raised in New Jersey, who described herself as a "Cubanita arrepentida," living most of her adult life passing for white Anglo-American , which was facilitated by her fluency in English, lack of accent, and her whiteness. Having married an Anglo and changed her name, she said she lived as a gringa until joining Hispanic marketing, which she felt was the first step toward her own rediscovery as a Latina.

Similar stories of ethnic self-discovery were recounted by other ad professionals. In contrast to the founders, however, newer generations are skeptical of overtly political pitches, which they believe make them look "less professional," and prefer instead to emphasize the market value of the Hispanic consumer. As one emphatically stated, "Back then it was an issue of politics and tokenism, but now it is their pockets [corporate pockets] that are speaking" and hence to their pockets that they should pitch. Even today, when Hispanic marketing is supposedly fashionable, advertising expenditures in the Hispanic market lag well behind advertising in the so-called general market.

The Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies estimates that Hispanic marketing receives only 1 percent of all ad spending in the United States, even though Latinas are believed to constitute about 11 percent of the U. Such inequalities in reaching the ethnic consumer have numerous repercussions, ranging from the excessive billboarding common in the "cheaper" urban and ethnic residential areas compared to the more restrained advertising seen in white residential areas, to the lower revenues of Hispanic media, even when the latter's audience share may surpass that of the general market, as in the case of New York City's "La Mega" Schwirtz These trends also point to the multiple manifestations of racism, whereby advertising for Hispanics is seen as tarnishing the image of goods among white buyers, while Hispanic consumers are stereotyped as destitute and thus as unlikely consumers Schwirtz Advertising in the Hispanic market is therefore always associated with politics and raised as a gauge of Latina representativity, inevitably forcing the industry to sell itself not solely on marketing but also on political grounds.

Evidence of these dynamics was not hard to find during my research.

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Within weeks of my having settled in the city, a memo by Katz Radio Group containing derogatory remarks against blacks and Latinas and implying that advertising for these audiences was appealing to "suspects, not prospects" came to light, and became the subject of great controversy in the industry and among the public at large Hispanic Market Weekly, May 18, This memo, followed shortly by an episode in one of the last Seinfeld shows, in which Kramer stomps over a flaming Puerto Rican flag during the Puerto Rican day parade, triggered demonstrations in front of Young and Rubicam's headquarters over the issue of equity in advertising budgets for blacks and Latinas during the summer of , and turned the disparity in advertising budget into a contentious political issue throughout the year.

Aimed at exposing inequalities in corporate advertising spending in general and ethnic markets, the summit was symbolically scheduled on Martin Luther King's birthday to emphasize the political basis of their claim for equal advertising as a right and for the need of increased corporate spending in these markets. The political implications of this industry are also evident in the appointment of Henry Cisneros, four-term mayor of San Antonio and former secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the Clinton administration, as the first president and chief officer of Univision in In hiring him, Univision was not only recruiting a highly connected politician to appeal to the intrinsic growth, political power, and monetary worth of the Hispanic population in the quest for advertising equity, but was also reinforcing the mutuality of politics and marketing in the very person of Cisneros.

This appointment is one example of a trend in the Hispanic advertising and media industry: Attracting advertising monies from corporations relative to the percentage of Latinas, the argument goes, entails increasing the power and representativity of the Hispanic population, and constitutes a public statement of their "worth.

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Latinos, Inc. The Marketing and Making of a People, Updated Edition, with a marketing industry and of its role in the making and marketing of U.S. Latinos. Both Hollywood and corporate America are taking note of the marketing power of the growing Latino population in the United States. And as salsa takes over.

As Stuart Ewen and others have observed, this development is part of the so-called democratizing of wealth, whereby the politics of images and style becomes a central site for reversing social inequalities, at least at the symbolic level, so central to the expression of class distinctions and power. For Latinas and other U. Given the discontinuation of FCC regulations that promoted minority media ownership and the current context of media deregulation, it is as consumers or through appeals to their "growing buying power" that Hispanics and other minority consumers must try to influence the commercial forces that more and more affect every aspect of their lives.

This equation of advertising revenues with participatory democracy is, however, highly problematic. By taking advertising budgets as a measure of Latina power, the equation reduces the meaning of political enfranchisement to consumer representation-yet it is not in the market that Hispanics are most ignored and disenfranchised. The growth of Hispanic marketing at the same time that anti-immigration and English-only laws are gaining currency is a clear indication of such a disparity.

While still a minimal sector within the general market, Hispanic marketing currently constitutes the sector where Hispanic's opinions are most sought after and quantified in research and focus group situations, and where Hispanic culture is not questioned but promoted, even if only to be packaged and sold back to them. Yet another problem is that in emphasizing the "growing buying power of Hispanics," the industry helps cloak the poverty and inequality that afflicts a great number of Hispanics.

For now, however, we should remember that neither the Hispanic media and marketing industry nor the definitions and categories generated to represent this market are reducible to mere fabrications of shrewd creatives. Neither are they devoid of political significance. Seen against the ongoing ethnic hierarchies that "make all of us the same," such constructions are at once the medium through which advertisers commodify, stereotype, and profit from what is in fact a heterogeneous population, as well as the medium through which Hispanics attain representation in a context where Hispanic images are often few or altogether absent and where the market stands at the center of struggles over representation, if not power.

Segmenting and Containing the Market A final issue behind the growth and development of the Hispanic marketing industry that I will consider in this chapter involves the greater advertising industry and some of the larger trends affecting its development.

Most Hispanic agencies in New York City and beyond were first founded as independent entities to market products to what was until the s seen as an untapped and ignored population. Yet the Hispanic advertising industry was never free from linkages with corporate structures nor from the influence of mainstream advertising agencies and trends. Recall the previous involvement of Cuban and later Mexican founders of U.

Similarly, the founder of SAMS, which is commonly regarded by advertisers as the first specialized, independent advertising agency for Hispanics in this country, originally worked with Goya products, thus evidencing the corporate and external links that affected the history of the industry. Moreover, the decentralization and expansion of many of the New York City agencies in the United States often occurred in response to the needs of specific clients who wanted to expand to these markets Siboney, for example, prior to opening its offices in New York and focusing on the U.

However, since the mid s, global trends in advertising affecting the general advertising and marketing industry have had an increasing impact on the Hispanic marketing industry in particular. Specifically, a renewed emphasis on segmented and targeted marketing along the lines of age, gender, race, or ethnicity Turow , as well as on integrated, or "one-stop," marketing, have directly impinged on Hispanic marketing and on the operations of Hispanic agencies.

On the one hand, interest in segmented and targeted marketing facilitated the relatively rapid success of this industry, whose interest in the development of a specialized market coincided with the general trend toward market segmentation of the times Leiss et al. The flip side of this trend, however, is that by generating interest in Hispanics as a specialized market, the Hispanic advertising industry became a particularly attractive target for mergers and buyouts by major transnational agencies. Concurrent with the general interest in one-stop marketing, the acquisition of Hispanic and other culture-specific agencies targeting Asian Americans and African Americans would become a common strategy through which transnational advertising networks sought to consolidate a variety of services and markets within their own firms and attain instant expertise and credibility in ethnic marketing.

The acquisition of Hispanic agencies allowed advertising conglomerates to assure their corporate clients of the standardization of strategy and message for products across different audience segments-an increasingly common demand in the industry at large.

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Furthermore, by incorporating them as minority-owned entities within the greater conglomerate, corporate clients could shield their efforts with a veil of "political correctness" when appealing to the minority consumer Mendosa Additional interest in the Hispanic market by global advertising conglomerates was triggered by a sudden public recognition of Hispanics in mainstream society throughout the s. Spurred by a series of developments, including the sharp rise in the number of Hispanics revealed in the census, a Time magazine special report declaring that Hispanics would soon become the nation's largest minority, and the establishment of Hispanic Heritage Month in , the s were touted as the "Hispanic Decade," arousing interest in Hispanics as consumers.

This was also the time when multiculturalism was being popularized as a political discourse, which further contributed to corporate America's interest in Hispanics as a culturally specific marketing niche. Signs of this development were obvious among Hispanic advertising agencies in New York, as most of the early Cuban-owned ad agencies were either bought by or merged with transnational advertising agencies seeking to stake a claim in a booming market. The result is that today, although there are still a number of independent agencies in the city and new ones are always emerging, the industry has increasingly become dominated by transnational advertising and publicity conglomerates.

Widespread interest in the Hispanic market is similarly evident in the general media and marketing industry at large, which has seen an explosion of new magazines, publications and media initiatives geared to Latinas Brody ; Wilke Since the s, the number of publications for Hispanics has increased by percent, and since Hispanic-oriented radio stations have doubled to Whisler and Nuiry At the same time, minority media ownership continued to decrease to its current low of 3 percent Broadcasting and Cable , and is likely to further decrease as a result of the Telecommunications Act, which was devised to increase competition by reducing ownership restrictions and hence increase media buyouts.

This situation has increasingly immersed Hispanic advertising agencies within the same structures that many sought either to change or provide an alternative for, and it has added pressures, restrictions, and layers to their production of Hispanic images in advertising. It is, of course, difficult to describe accurately the range of relationships between main agencies and their subsidiary Hispanic shops.

One account executive explained that "it makes a huge difference when we tell our clients that we enjoy the resources of the larger agency.