Harte-Hanks Readies Spanish-Language FSI Program in California, Florida

Marketing services provider Harte-Hanks Inc. will jump into the Hispanic-marketing fray in December when it launches its first Spanish-language freestanding insert program aimed at Hispanics in California and South Florida.

The idea occurred to Harte-Hanks based on the large Hispanic audiences for its PennySaver publication in California and its Flyer publication in South Florida. These advertising publications known as “Shoppers” reach 10 million homes weekly in California and 1.2 million weekly in South Florida.

“We have a very powerful readership in the markets we serve, but one of the fastest-growing consumer segments is Hispanics,” said Rick Cluff, vice president of national sales at Harte-Hanks Shoppers, a division of San Antonio-based Harte-Hanks Inc.

The company noticed that some of its advertisers already placed bilingual or Spanish ads in high-density Hispanic areas, and decided to create a Spanish-language FSI program. The program is called Pensando en Ti, which translates to Thinking of You.

“We built the product to look a lot like the FSIs that people are used to seeing in their Sunday newspapers except that it's in Spanish,” Cluff said.

The program will be published monthly. It will have a midweek distribution. The program targets 1.5 million homes, with 962,000 in greater Los Angeles, 61,000 in Northern California, 88,000 in San Diego and 395,000 in South Florida.

“We're only going to areas that have a very high density of Hispanics,” Cluff said.

The segmentation process the firm is using is based on census data from Claritas.

Cluff said Harte-Hanks rolled out the marketing plan for the program last week and has begun discussions with advertisers. Within the FSI will be ads from consumer packaged goods companies like food manufacturers.

Cluff said it has been remarkably easy to get meetings with potential advertisers after they hear the words “Hispanic marketing.”

“Hispanic marketing is on everybody's radar screens,” he said.

Though he could not reveal names or say how many advertisers might participate in the launch, Cluff said, “We have had discussions with about half a dozen marketers so far, and reaction has been very favorable.”

The cost to advertisers ranges from $6.95/M to $13.95/M depending on placement and ad size. Frequency discounts also apply.

Once advertisers are in place, the next step is getting their ads into the FSI. Cluff said that many of the CPG companies have agencies that will handle the creative and language issues for the ads. However, he said that Harte-Hanks would offer translation services for smaller companies or those that need help through local agencies that specialize in Hispanic marketing.

He is hopeful that at least some participants will share their results from the program with Harte-Hanks. The company hopes that favorable results will let it expand the program beyond California and South Florida.

Though Harte-Hanks does not mail the PennySaver or Flyer in other markets, it would seek partnerships with publications in the target areas. Other core Hispanic markets it might explore include Arizona, Texas, New Mexico and Chicago.

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