AHAA’s Position on…
The Strength of AHAA for the Hispanic-Specialized Marketing Industry
We’re Only As Strong As Our Weakest Link
Response from the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA) to the HispanicAd.com article by Enrique R. Turegano of ONAC Inc. (2006)
Ten years ago, pioneers of the US Hispanic marketing industry -- united by the mission of strengthening and raising the awareness of Hispanic market opportunities -- founded the association we are proud to call AHAA. Now, more than 98 percent of Hispanic agencies and industry representatives comprise the nearly 200 members of the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies. The belief was that together, with one voice, Hispanic marketers could grow and enhance the value of our profession.
Does that mean that the voice of individual agencies is not heard? Quite the contrary. AHAA provides a forum for the open exchange of ideas designed to fortify the business of its member agencies. The goal of our association is to create tools and meaningful professional development opportunities to help us operate more effectively as agencies and gain greater respect for our industry.
It is unfortunate that a recent HispanicAd.com article by an AHAA member failed to recognize the key characteristics of our association. While fresh perspectives are welcome, ill-informed opinions and unfounded claims that publicly challenge the integrity of our association only weaken the position of our entire industry.
Although it is tempting to quash the author’s erroneous statements and accusations, our concern is for the greater good of our industry and our association. It is shocking to think that one of our members believes AHAA would denounce, or “insult,” the profession that we all have worked so hard to foster. Our intent as an association is to gain recognition for the sophistication of our market and of our marketing. As the leader of our industry, it is the responsibility of AHAA to elevate the complexity of what we do beyond one-dimensional “solutions” and to equip each of our members with the tools to collectively advance our profession.
AHAA invites readers who did not attend the recent conference, including the author of the denigrating article that appeared Monday, to go to www.ahaa.org and view online the entire videotaped presentation and script introducing the Latino Identity project. If the author, or a representative from his agency, had attended the conference it would have been clear that our purpose was to celebrate excellence in account planning and creativity in our industry and to advance the idea that Latino-specialist agencies are those best equipped to target all Hispanic consumers, regardless of their language of preference.
Together, as AHAA members, we have the power to change perceptions and promote the importance of what we do and how we do it. Let’s rally around our commonalities and use our diversity of opinions as our forefathers intended – to propel our industry forward.
Comments about anything pertaining to AHAA, its members and important issues in our industry are always welcome by our leadership – 703-610-0231.