Breakdown Of Spending On Spanish-Language Election Ads
November 19, 2012

Gov. Mitt Romney in a Spanish-language television ad that aired during the 2012 presidential election.

LAS VEGAS -- The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has released a report that shows how much money was spent on Spanish-language ads for the presidential campaign in some states vital to the campaigns.

According to the report, no money was spent in Arizona on Spanish-language ads for the presidential race. In Albuquerque, N.M., $92,312 was spent. In California, $148 was spent in Monterey, though nothing in Los Angeles or San Diego. Texas got $28,936, most of it in El Paso and Amarillo, and nothing in the left-leaning cities of San Antonio and Austin. In Nevada, $3,897,404 was spent in Las Vegas alone.

All together, campaigns and independent groups spent about $23 million on Spanish-language ads on local TV for the presidential campaigns. That may seem like a lot but it’s only about 6 percent of the $355 million spent on ads in 10 states. These include Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada and Texas.

“While there was an increase, we were happy to see that. We don’t believe the increase was significant or commensurate with the Hispanic electorate," said Javier Palomarez, president of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which commissioned Kanter Media's Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG) to complete the study.

Palomarez said the $22.8 million spent was "paltry," considering the "role that Hispanics played in 2012 election."

Most of the dollars were spent in five markets -- Denver, Las Vegas, Miami, Orlando and Tampa.

"Hispanic voters deserve to hear from campaigns in preferred language," Palomarez continued. He said other races, from local offices to the U.S. House and Senate, spent $763.4 million on local TV advertising and of that, about $47 million went to funding Spanish-language ads -- 6.2 percent of the total.

But Ken Goldstein, president of Kantar Media, said this level of spending on Spanish-language ads is not surprising.

"It’s certainly been the case that Spanish-language advertising by people in politics has always been a low number," Goldstein said. "I have no idea what the correct number is, but it's always a lower proportion of advertising spending by other companies who target the Latino market."

The presidential race did spend on overall advertising, however. Kantar Media estimates $1.1 billion went towards political ads just in the 2012 presidential race.