Calif. Minorities Prefer Ethnic Media

By: Paul Glader, Associated Press Writer

(AP) Many of the growing number of minorities in California prefer to read publications and listen to broadcasts in their own language, presenting challenges for advertisers, according to a study released Tuesday.

“We have a tremendous proliferation of ethnic media outlets in this state,” said Sergio Bendixen, president of Miami-based Bendixen & Associates, which conducted the study. “What happens here usually happens in the rest of the country sooner or later.”

The study, conducted from November to March, examined the media habits of 2,000 people from various racial and ethnic groups in California, one of the first states in the nation where minorities are the majority.

The study was released by New California Media, an association of more than 400 ethnic media outlets catering to California’s nearly 17 million nonwhites.

The survey found that ethnic TV stations, radio stations, and newspapers reach 84% of the three largest minority groups in California — Hispanics, blacks, and Asians. Whites were not included in the survey.

The study — conducted in 12 languages — also found that 43% of those surveyed prefer broadcasts in their own language, rather than English.

“It is now becoming more complicated to sell a car or run for political office,” Bendixen said.

Asians use the Internet and read newspapers more than other groups, while Hispanics watch Spanish-language TV giants such as Telemundo and Univision more than they read publications or listen to the radio, the study found. Blacks were fondest of ethnic-oriented radio stations.

A majority of nonwhite Californians said they are more likely to pay attention to advertising in ethnic media rather than mainstream outlets. Hispanics demonstrated the strongest “advertising loyalty,” followed by Asians.

Industry experts said language barriers pose the biggest problem for would-be advertisers in ethnic media.

“Being able to work in 12 different languages is a challenge,” said Jerry Gibbons, executive vice president of the American Association of Advertising Agencies. “How are the advertising agencies going to be able to reach these people?”

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