Spanish Ads on the Rise in Allen County

By Megan Trent

August 4, 2010 Updated Aug 4, 2010 at 6:56 PM EDT

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - The signs are all around you... billboards that is. As you look at advertisements around Allen County, it won't take you long to spot one in Spanish. Some are bilingual. Others are completely in Spanish. Ad executives say it's something they've been doing more frequently in recent years.

They say companies are reaching out to the 21,000 Hispanic residents who live in Allen County. That's around 6.1% of the population. Advertising officials say companies can't ignore those figures or a growing demographic with money to spend.

Tim Borne, Chairman of Asher Advertising Agency, says, "With some of our own clients, we've had messaging that we want to reach the Hispanic community. They're a viable community. They work. They have expendable money."

Borne says billboards are still one of the most common forms of Spanish advertisement in Allen County. "What we're limited to though in this area is there's only so many Spanish media outlets. There's one FM radio station who was Spanish, changed formats, and is back to Spanish. El Mexicano newspaper I think is bi-weekly. And then you can target outdoors in specific Hispanic neighborhoods to try to reach out and communicate with the Hispanic community."

As for the local Burmese population, just over two years ago Fort Wayne Community Schools put up a billboard in Burmese to promote their School Choice Fair. However, Borne says it's the Hispanic population that is more likely to be the target demographic for advertisements due to their growing presence in Allen County.

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