Michelle Herrera Mulligan, left, the editor of Cosmopolitan Latina, which will be introduced in May, with Donna Kalajian Lagani, right, the senior vice president and publishing director at Cosmopolitan.
By Tanzina Vega (NY Times)
With the Census Bureau counting nearly 25 million Latin women in the United States, marketers and media companies have started getting excited about the potential to reach them.
Among the most recent initiatives is a new publication, Cosmopolitan Latina, that will start publishing in May and will be aimed at American-born Latin women who are bicultural and bilingual.
“A lot of marketers understand that they need to invest with the Latino market,” said Donna Kalajian Lagani, the senior vice president and publishing director at Cosmopolitan. But many Latinos, she said, “are digesting their information in English.”
According to the census, of the Latin women in the United States, more than eight million are native-born and older than 18. “She’s very Latina, but she’s also very American. You can’t separate the two,” Ms. Kalajian Lagani said of the new magazine’s intended reader.
Hearst, which owns Cosmopolitan, plans to start with one issue in the spring and one in the fall, and at first, it will publish 545,000 copies that will be made available in states like Texas, California, Florida and New York, which have large Latino populations.
Latin women represent a “core Cosmo brand,” accounting for one in every four subscribers, said Ms. Kalajian Lagani. The core subscriber base for the print edition of Cosmopolitan is 1.45 million in the United States.
In addition to the new publication, Cosmopolitan will add content and advertising dedicated to Latin women in 750,000 copies of its regular issue. The Cosmopolitan Web site will have a separate tab for Latino-focused content and will offer Web-only articles written by Latina bloggers in addition to the content from Cosmopolitan Latina. Readers will also be able to receive beauty and fashion tips from Latina bloggers on their mobile phones.
The primary competitor to Cosmopolitan Latina is Latina magazine, published by Latina Media Ventures. Latina magazine recently celebrated its 15th anniversary issue by putting 15 Latin women, including the actresses Salma Hayek, Rosario Dawson and America Ferrera, on its cover.
One of the hallmarks of Latina magazine is its use of “Spanglish,” or the occasional use of Spanish words in otherwise English text. Michelle Herrera Mulligan, the editor of Cosmopolitan Latina, said the new publication would use Spanish words if it felt “natural within a story.”
Ms. Herrera Mulligan said the magazine would focus on issues like entertaining, beauty and how Latinas related to their families. The overall voice of the publication, she said, will be one that asks readers, “What makes you more confident, what makes you bolder?”
Spanish-language versions of Cosmopolitan have more than a million subscribers outside the United States, many of them in countries like Argentina, Mexico and Colombia.
According to data from the Publishers Information Bureau, a division of the Association of Magazine Media, the number of ad pages in Latina magazine increased 11.5 percent in the first three quarters of 2011 compared with the same period a year earlier. Despite a sluggish economy for print media, ad revenue for the same period increased to $20.9 million for the first three quarters of 2011, from $18.5 million for the same period in 2010.
Ad revenue for Cosmopolitan increased nearly 4.6 percent, to $292.5 million, for the first three quarters of 2011 compared with the same period a year before. The number of ad pages fell about 2 percent.
George Cleary, the president of Coty Beauty Americas, a perfume and cosmetics company, said the company was considering advertising in Cosmopolitan Latina. “The Latina female is very beauty-involved,” Mr. Cleary said. “She has a much higher propensity to spend on our brands.”
One of the company’s mascara brands, Rimmel, has been showing television ads on Univision and running Spanish-language print ads since September 2010.
Latino women have not gone unnoticed by other media outlets. At Siempre Mujer, a Spanish-language magazine published by Meredith, ad revenue for the first three quarters of 2011 increased to $11.8 million from $8 million during the same period in 2010. The number of ad pages in the magazine increased nearly 30 percent during the same period.
People en Español, the Spanish-language version of People magazine published by Time Inc., had a 35 percent increase in ad revenue to $44 million, and an increase of ad pages of close to 30 percent.
Television has also taken note. At the upfront presentations in May, television executives were selling new programming aimed at the Latino market. The annual presentations, which are meant to entice advertisers to buy time during programming, included the introduction of Utilisima, a lifestyle network for Latinas created by Fox Hispanic Media, part of the News Corporation.
Telemundo, owned by NBCUniversal, has made efforts to reach the growing Latino audience, including signing the popular Latina television personality, Cristina Saralegui, for her new show, “Pa’lante con Cristina.”
Ms. Saralegui has said she would welcome both Spanish- and English-speaking celebrities on the show, which is available, as are other programs on the network, with English subtitles. Ms. Saralegui once edited the Spanish-language version of Cosmopolitan.
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