Boosting the Latino vote

By: Mark Fitzgerald

The Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (ahaa) is launching a $5-million broadcast and print campaign urging Latino citizens to register and vote in the 2000 elections.
“voto,” as the campaign is called, is intended to boost Hispanic voting power in the 16 states with significant Hispanic populations. Those states account for 299 electoral votes ? 29 more than needed to win a presidential election. About 8 million Hispanic Americans are registered in those states, but U.S. Census Bureau figures suggest there are a potential 5.4 million voters who are not yet registered, says Aida Levitan, president of the Miami-based Sanchez & Levitan ad agency.
Newspapers committed to running ads in the print campaign are the dailies La Opini?n; el diario/La Prensa in New York; and The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald; as well as the weekly La Raza in Chicago, says Paul Casanova of Pendrill Publicidad, which developed the print ads.
The print campaign will also run in Hispanic-interest magazines including Vista, People en Espa?ol, and Miami Mensual.
Univision and Telemundo, the two big Spanish-language tv networks, each have committed substantial free time to air the two commercials produced by ahaa. Both tv spots feature humorous situations on the theme, “If you don’t choose, someone will choose for you.”
In one, a young Hispanic couple about to be married in a civil ceremony are told by the judge how many children they will have, where the honeymoon will be, and how long it will last.
The high profile of the launch, at ahaa’s seventh semiannual meeting in Chicago, was underscored by videotaped greetings from Republican presidential hopeful George W. Bush and a letter from Vice President Al Gore, a Democratic candidate, that was read by former U.S. Housing and Urban Development secretary Henry Cisneros. Cisneros is now president of Univision.
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(copyright: Editor & Publisher September 4, 1999) [Caption]

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