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July 03, 2008

Pretty strong words. Yes and very sad ones about the state of our advertising Industry.

For years we have been underneath the ‘sole of the boot’ of the mainstream agencies and broadcasters threading on our unique ability to handle advertising directed and delivering US Hispanic Consumers. To some this is a blessing, to us it should a call to action.

Now a monopolistic measurement company is hell-bent on changing the rules of sampling and measurement methodology without regard to the impact on our business and the the financial solvency of the radio stations that serve our US Hispanic Consumer and other minority consumers in this country.

Hopefully you all took notice of my last post “To the silent majority in our Industry”. THERE IS STILL SILENCE ...... (but over 3,100 people read it).

The Hispanic Agencies for sure and some of the radio groups took too long to tackle the issue of Arbitron changing the measurement rules and the impact it will have on our Industry.

At this stage it is probably too late in the game, our industry might not have the market capability or influence to tackle the issue. The only remedy is a a legal & political solution to try to solve this compounding problem.

The Federal Communications Commission and a Federal Judge are in the process of analyzing the need to impose a subpoena and open a discussion about the impact that Arbitron’s radio measurement methodology will have on Hispanic and other minority radio stations solvency. (Gracias, a who ever you believe in to be politically correct so that this could be a consideration)

Kudos to the Hispanic Broadcasters that made this happen. It’s your only hope from our vantage point, hopefully advertisers, agencies, radio stations and the whole free world get subpoenaed to help our Hispanic Radio stations. ¡Agencies ponganse la pilas is going to get ugly!

Arbitron has decided against the needs and interest of our Industry by publicly stating that the role-out of the PPM is on schedule.

Keep in mind that we will not receive support from mainstream radio broadcasters, since it serves their purpose to have the high-ratings Hispanic and minority stations out of the Top 10 list of stations in their markets to allow them to re-gain and/or garner shares of the radio dollars in their respective market already in play.

Mainstream agencies are looking for options to NOT PURCHASE minority focused radio stations. Mainstream agencies have been the proponents of the non-minority dictates that exclude the use of our station in an advertiser’s media plan. It is not in their mindset to include them even when Hispanic Radio stations dominate many of the Top 20 Radio markets.

Yet another issue tackled by our Industry and/or the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA) late in the game when compared to other minority focused organizations and their efforts on this issue.

In conversations with a top ad executive this week that has been on the Board of AHAA in the past, the topic arouse that our Industry might feel that recognizing our past makes us Old School and potentially not of interest to advertisers, agency conglomerates looking to purchase an Hispanic agency and/or our own self image.So what does the future hold for us? Maybe a select few can cash-out when they sell the kiosko or cash in the stock options, but what about the rest of the professionals in our Industry?

Do we try so hard to be part of the new, that we jeopardize the future of our Industry, companies and our employees?

Can you imagine the loss of revenue our Hispanic focused radio stations could suffer?

BMP Radio, Bustos Radio, Entravision Radio, Lotus Radio, Spanish Broadcasting Systems, Univision Radio and any other radio owner or operator will feel the dramatic impact on their bottom-line. So devastating to some, that it could cripple their financial solvency!

Maybe I am jaded by the fact that I am a Hispanic Radio veteran and I know the impact that Hispanic Radio played in developing the Industry you all enjoy. Very few remember and very few teach of the legacy.

Other trade publications in our Industry prefer not to take a stand and be what they call ‘neutral’ on these issues. We prefer to err on the side of defending our Industry and we are NOT NEUTRAL when it comes to our Industry’s future!

But, the silence is filling the void and you are casting your opinion by not getting involved. ¡PUNTO!

I challenge every Hispanic agency-head to call the following executives personally and ask, “What can I do to help?’.

Raul Alarcon - Spanish Broadcasting System - 305-646-9977
Jeff Hinson - Border Media Partners - 214-614-6700
Jeff Liberman - Entravision Radio - 323-900-6393
Gary Stone - Univision Radio - 214-525-7750

Let's start the conversation!

Any agency, broadcasters and/or association that wants access to our website, El Blog, newsletter, eblasts to help inform and support our Hispanic Radio stations in their time of need, just call me at 917-854-1706 or e-mail me at gbryan@hispanicad.com .

Gene Bryan

Comments

Your comments on mainstream agencies is on target. Speaking from experience as someone who has had the opportunity to manage at one of the largest Hispanic radio station corporations [HBC, which is now Univision] and now an Hispanic agency owner in Los Angeles, I find this to be the case in both examples. While the Hispanic population continues to grow and prosper here and across the USA spending millions of consumer dollars, we always found our teams struggling to justify Hispanic marketing at the general market agency level. As we know, there are two distinct Latino markets - the bi-lingual market and the Spanish dominant market. Without realestic Hispanic numbers reflecting actual listenership for radio and even television, our jobs as Hispanic marketers will continue to be challenging and our industry irrelevant in the eyes of the major agencies. Same on Arbitron and A.C. Nielson! John in Los Angeles

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