Latin-Pak Continues Growth With Co-Op

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Latin-Pak, which has introduced mass market advertisers to the Hispanic market through door hanger and newspaper free standing insert programs, is rolling out a more cost-effective alternative for direct marketers next year with the debut of its mail cooperative.

The co-op will launch Feb. 25 to 250,000 direct mail responsive Hispanic households in California, Texas, Florida, New York and Illinois. It will contain advertising messages from 20 to 25 advertisers with categories available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations will be accepted through Jan. 31.

The universe of recipients is being constructed through Latin-Pak's list of 175,000 buyers of health and beauty, children's video and other products from previous campaigns as well as the rental of additional response lists. The Latin-Pak list, which also includes information from consumer surveys included in a November FSI, is now available for rental.

Vincent Andaloro, president of Latin-Pak, Malibu, CA, said a mail cooperative was in the business plan when he formed the company three years ago but could not be sustained as a marketing medium until now. The direct marketing industry today is much more aware of the Hispanic market and educated about how to approach it.

A recent survey from Draft Worldwide found that Hispanics need to be cultivated as mail-order buyers. A co-op offers advertisers a chance to test the Hispanic market at a cost much lower than that required for a solo mailing.

Direct marketers had not been reaching Hispanics because of the lack of vehicles. Andaloro pointed out that targeting Hispanics is in the same high cost range as reaching a new niche audience. He said that the first two vehicles Latin-Pak introduced -- door hangers and FSIs -- were ill suited for direct marketers who were not accustomed to bearing the same high marketing as mass market advertisers.

"Direct marketers all want everything dirt cheap, they want to pay 25 percent of what a mass marketer will pay,'' he said. And they also want to target only those with a propensity to buy. The shared-mail concept of a co-op, combined with the targeting precision of a direct-mail responsive audience, gives them both.

The Latin-Pak co-op is starting modestly, with quarterly mailings of 250,000 planned for 1999. With the growing interest in the Hispanic market, Andaloro said circulation could increase to 500,000 by the second half of next year and to a one million per mailing by 2000.

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