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Survey Finds Latinx Representation in Ads & Content Continues to Lag

Latinx Horowitz
(Image credit: iStock)

While media companies and advertisers have been stepping up their efforts to reach Hispanic audiences, a new survey from Horowitz Research offers a mixed review of how well they are doing in terms Latinx diversity and inclusion. 

When it comes to advertising, six in 10 Latinx respondents in the survey say it appeals to them when ads use people who are bilingual in them, and 57% want to see ads centered around Latinx people and culture. However, fewer than half (46%) of Latinx consumers are seeing more ads featuring diverse people, lifestyles, and cultures now than a year ago, the Horowitz report found. 

On the content side, four in ten Latinx respondents say they are seeing more Latinx actors as lead characters in scripted TV shows, while over one-third feel they are seeing the same amount or less. 

In fact, Latinx respondents are more likely to feel there are now more Black actors as lead characters in scripted shows than more Latinx actors. Similarly, four in ten Latinx consumers feel they are seeing more positive portrayals of Latinx characters and communities; almost half feel they are seeing the same amount or fewer positive portrayals; and only 44% feel that they are seeing more brands going out of their way to market and advertise to Latinx audiences.

“Brands looking to truly resonate with and grow their business among Latinx consumers have to look beyond Hispanic Heritage Month to create meaningful connections,” notes Adriana Waterston, chief revenue officer and insights & strategy lead for Horowitz Research. “This includes not only improving diversity and inclusion in their advertising and storytelling, but also using their political and economic clout to lobby for policies that have a real impact on Latinx rights, freedom, and economic empowerment—including Latinas’ and all women’s bodily autonomy.”

The data from the Horowitz study also underscores that it’s not just inclusivity on screen or in ads that matter, researchers said. 

The researchers stressed that in the current environment, Latinx – like many consumers – have a heightened awareness of the socio-political stances of the companies they choose to do business with, and look to align themselves with brands that stand for causes they believe in.

For example, almost 7 in 10 Latinx consumers say it is important for them to support women’s rights, and two in three say it is important to be environmentally conscious. 

The study finds that over half of Latinx consumers have taken an action as a result of learning about a specific company’s actions or stances on political, social, and/or environmental issues – either by stopping doing business with the company, signing a petition against the company, or calling out the company in conversations with friends and/or family.

Notably, six in ten (59%) of Latinx consumers say that it would have a positive impact on their likelihood to buy from a company that supports a woman’s right to choose, compared to only 10% for whom this would negatively impact their likelihood. Similarly, 55% of Latinx would be more likely to buy from a company that publicly supports a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, while only 11% say it would have a negative impact.

The data comes from the new “FOCUS Latinx: State of Consumer Engagement 2022” report which provides an analysis of adults 18+. 

The survey was conducted in July 2022 in English among 1,800 adults. Data have been weighted to ensure results are representative of the overall TV universe. The report is available in total market, FOCUS Latinx, FOCUS Black, and FOCUS Asian editions. 

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George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.