Presidenital Ad Blitz Skips Charlotte's Spanish Language Media

Oct 4, 2012

There’s a lot of money going into political advertising for presidential candidates in North Carolina. But you may not have noticed if the only language you speak is Spanish. In Charlotte, publishers and editors of Spanish-language media say they’re surprised they’re being overlooked. 

In Charlotte alone, more than 27 million dollars has been spent on 41,698 political ads for the presidential race (Republicans spent $17 million, while President Obama's campaign spent $10 million), according to an analysis by Kantar Media, which tracks advertising. 

In fact, that’s roughly half of all presidential advertising in North Carolina. In the state's capitol, Governor Romney's campaign spent 6 million, while President Obama's campaign spent about $4 million on ads in Raleigh. 

And in battleground states like North Carolina, $11 million has been spent on ads targeting Hispanics.

That’s eight times what was spent on Spanish-language ads in 2008.  Still, little if any of that money is being spent on Charlotte’s Spanish-language media, says  Hilda Gurdian. She’s the publisher of La Noticia, the region's largest Spanish-language newspaper, based in Charlotte. Her paper also has offices in Asheville and Raleigh. But when she contacted both presidential campaigns, they keep telling her the same thing: they’re not ready to advertise in Charlotte. 

And she finds that surprising because Latinos make up more than 13 percent of the population in Charlotte. 

“It makes a tremendous difference if they advertise in Spanish versus if they do it in English," Gurdian says. "When you communicate in Spanish, it’s [culturally] sensitive." 

It’s not that Hispanic residents of Charlotte don’t speak English – most do, but she says it projects an image of a Latino-friendly candidate.