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  • Writer's pictureTyzza Macias

The Hispanic Marketing Council's Bold Call to Action: Prioritize Authentic Engagement or Risk Your Career


Visuals: Courtesy of the Hispanic Marketing Council, At its 2024 Annual Summit, the Hispanic Marketing Council (HMC) launched a bold new campaign, urging the advertising and marketing sectors to "Stop Latino Coating."

Since its inception in 1996, the Hispanic Marketing Council has steadfastly promoted authentic and impactful engagement with the Hispanic community in the United States. Representing an impressive 20% of the U.S. population and contributing a colossal $3.2 trillion to the GDP, the Hispanic market stands as a global economic titan, comparable to the largest economies in the world. However, the Hispanic Marketing Concil's recent campaign unveiled at their 2024 Annual Summit casts a stark light on a troubling gap within the realms of marketing and advertising, highlighting a significant underestimation of this vibrant demographic's influence and importance.


The #STOPLATINOCOATING Campaign

The message from the Hispanic Marketing Council is clear and uncompromising: "Stop Latino Coating." This campaign is a wake-up call to Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) and advertising professionals, urging them to prioritize the Hispanic market genuinely or face the peril of career stagnation. The term "Latino Coating," as defined by the Hispanic Marketing Council, refers to the superficial inclusion of Latino elements in marketing strategies. This approach often involves using stereotypical imagery or language, offering a veneer of diversity without a deep, respectful engagement with Latino culture.


Latino Coating is not just a missed opportunity; it's a strategy fraught with risks. According to insights from McKinsey & Co., over a third of Latinos feel dissatisfied with the current products or value propositions in the market. This dissatisfaction stems from a lack of authentic representation and understanding. Brands that continue to engage in this minimal-effort marketing are not only harming their reputation but are also risking their relevance in today's culturally diverse marketplace.


Luis Miguel Messianu, Founder, President, and Chief Creative Officer of Messianu Edelman Lerma and a driving force behind this campaign, describes Latino Coating as a form of cultural appropriation. "It’s akin to whitewashing, greenwashing, or rainbow washing, but it preys on Latino identity," Messianu explains. The campaign emphasizes the importance of moving beyond tokenistic gestures like activating campaigns only during Hispanic Heritage Month.


Strategic Recommendations for CMOs

The Hispanic Marketing Council is urging marketing leaders to recalibrate their strategies to better reflect the economic and cultural significance of the Hispanic market. They recommend that Chief Marketing Officers increase their marketing investments to match the substantial buying power of this demographic, moving away from the outdated concept of a general market in a now multicultural society. Additionally, The Hispanic Marketing Council emphasizes the importance of delving into the complexities of Latino culture to appreciate its diversity fully. 


This deeper understanding ensures that products and services are not only relevant but also resonate with the community’s unique experiences and perspectives. Authenticity is crucial; it involves more than surface-level representation and must encompass a genuine respect and appreciation for Latino values and experiences. Finally, forming partnerships with those who have a deep, nuanced understanding of Latino cultural contexts is vital. Such collaborations enable brands to establish real connections and foster trust within the Hispanic market, creating a foundation for long-term success.


A New Era of Marketing

Isabella Sanchez, VP of Media Integration at Zubi and the Hispanic Marketing Council Chair, sums it up: "Authentic engagement builds lasting relationships based on trust and mutual understanding." As the Hispanic community continues to shape mainstream culture and propel demographic shifts, the need for marketers to adapt has never been more critical.


The #STOPLATINOCOATING campaign is not just a cautionary tale; it's a roadmap for CMOs and marketing professionals eager to succeed in a rapidly evolving market. With top creative minds from agencies like MEL, Creyentes, and Casanova McCann spearheading this initiative, the Hispanic Marketing Council is setting the stage for a transformative shift in how brands engage with one of the most influential demographic groups in the U.S. For more insights and to join the movement, visit stoplatinocoating.org. The future of marketing lies in authenticity, and the time to embrace this reality is now.


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