Thursday, October 26, 2006
Delivering a Eulogy for a Magazine.
Hasta la vista, baby.
Barely a week after the conclusion of Hispanic Heritage Month, media conglomerate VNU announced its decision to dump Marketing y Medios, the trade magazine dedicated to Latino advertising and more.
The new scheme involves rolling the magazine’s content into monthly special reports that will run in sister publications Adweek, Brandweek and Mediaweek — sort of a business burrito for the professional masses.
The VNU spin was typically corporate: “The growing Hispanic market has evolved from a niche to the mainstream and our audience is asking for forward-thinking, broad-based coverage. … This move provides Marketing y Medios a prominent presence in our three core brands while offering Hispanic advertisers a voice among mainstream brand marketers and media buyers.”
The Spanish translation for the VNU statement: Caca Grande.
Actions like this are always financially motivated. Except in cases of blatant racism. But let’s take the high road and presume that Marketing y Medios failed to generate the requisite profits to satisfy VNU accountants.
Its demise, however, inspires some disturbing observations.
For starters, one must wonder if VNU spent enough time and money promoting their product. It seems like Adfreak.com receives greater hype than Marketing y Medios enjoyed. Plus, to recognize “the growing Hispanic market has evolved from a niche to the mainstream,” then eliminate the publication reporting on the subject, makes little sense.
From a publishing perspective, the Latino marketing community literally goes from star to minority status. When considering players like Advertising Age, where “Multicultural” news is relegated to an occasional partial page, it does not bode well for the future of Marketing y Medios’ voice and spirit. Has Adweek ever displayed a single decent article on anything not targeting White Baby Boomers? And does anyone even read Brandweek and Mediaweek?
It would be ideal if VNU actually integrated the Marketing y Medios content, creating diverse editorial environments. But that’s probably too “forward-thinking” to comprehend. Instead, it appears VNU will ultimately reflect the advertising industry by segregating the minorities. Better to keep these guys in their place — in the back sections alongside the classified ads featuring job opportunities that Blacks, Asians and Latinos will continue to be denied.
Marketing y Medios awarded a unique platform for the Latino marketing community to showcase its stuff. Editor Laura Martínez and her team served up opinions, insights, facts, fiction, creative critiques and more with passion, intelligence and humor. Everyone was welcome, whether Martínez agreed with you or not. Forgive the cliché, but it was a cultural celebration. And of course, it helped the Latino marketing community build credibility, prominence and power. There’s a lot of cool and progressive activity taking place — and Marketing y Medios provided an unparalleled spotlight. Folks would be hard-pressed to find another business magazine in any category to match its distinctive personality.
Muchos kudos to Laura Martínez and compadres for blazing breakthrough, pioneering achievements.
What’s the biggest tragedy of all? MultiCultClassics recently renewed its subscription to Marketing y Medios for two years. So VNU is bound to offer credit in the form of a substitute magazine from its stable of hackneyed dreck.
In the words of Bart Simpson, “¡Ay, caramba!”
Special Bonus! Click on the essay title above to view MultiCultClassics’ first mention of Marketing y Medios, written in March 2005.