Over the past 35 years and as far back as I can recall, the Latino market was progressively moving towards the numbers we see today. But, it wasn’t always that simple to realize, due to only having a few gauges to measure the growth. Sure, we have the U.S. Census, Nielsen, Arbitron and other sources of measurement and no matter the growth what I have come to not realize but actually witness, is while we as a culture grew our “piece of the pie” truly has not.
I have traveled coast to coast attending one Latino conference, convention after another and have met and mixed with the industry’s best and one common thread I have seen in just about every circle is, we are active, we are progressive thinkers but, only a few of us are leading the way with being the decision makers. In my line of work with regards to digital brand management, social media, media relations and more what I have noticed are micro agencies attempting to either “act as if they know by retaining zero experience Latinos” or “exploiting our culture” in various ways, all this by receiving the green light on the mega budgets that our people, our hard working talented Latinos should have and rightfully so.
You can invest a million or even a billion in our market but unless you are us, you will not have the equal amount of passion and empathy we possess. Often too many times we witness Latino agencies, businesses being passed up on very large budgets while the non Latino businesses win those budgets then try to turn around, find a “designated” Latino to service a community they are pretty much clueless about. Being a Latino alone does not qualify you for what I share, but if you are equally talented and many times, over qualified and still do not receive what you deserve, then that can be a sign to move on. I once sat in a meeting back in the mid-90’s wherein someone of caucasian persuasion began to tell me “We should celebrate Cinco de Mayo” and “Diez y Seis de Septiembre” and went on to dictate to my team they had budgeted for those two months alone. Would you even believe one of the guys in their circle of newbies even suggested we highlight “National Nacho Chip Day?”, yes really.
Now moving into 2016 one would think that “mentality” has but disappeared right? Do not be shocked when I tell you it has not. Take Texas for instance, in Dallas we make up about 41-42% of the population of the city and I ask you how much is invested into our market? Drive through San Antonio, Austin, Houston and see the outreach, not so much here in this great city. From city events, to outdoor billboards, to the overall perception of the city, we feel we are not included and with the growing population progressing as it will, what happens when we are 50.1 or now the majority of this market? Will the coined phrase “Minority” be replaced with “General Market”? I brought this up recently in a circle of media and bloggers and I never experienced so much silence on this subject than any other I proposed.
We at Creative Juice Online are fed up, so much to the point we are considering launching a new online/blog and maybe high end print magazine detailing all the greatness the news, media as whole either select not to or are truly ignorant to it. Back many years ago DFW had a wonderful, well produced magazine called Valiente, owned by Mr. Jay Forte. This magazine was top of the line, not just in it’s appearance but it’s overall DNA was in the same line of that of D Magazine and others. From major fashion shows, social functions, national stories and so much more, Valiente was well ahead of it’s time. When you see Latino celebrities such as Pitbull, Sofia Vegara, Eva Longoria and others investing into many major projects, companies and more, the hope is there for us all.
I am fair, there is a great divide in this city and a lack of information from our culture to the what is now, the “General Market” and we must take blame for it as well and act responsible in ensuring our younger Latinos have an idea of this great city which will one day be there very own major market. These words I expressed are my very own and hopefully one day our very own Latino media will open this dialogue but hey, they are not Latino owned.