WSW Hispanic practice to help Azteca network grow

LOS ANGELES: Azteca America, a Spanish-language TV network, has tapped Weber Shandwick Worldwide's Hispanic practice, Weber Shandwick Latin (WSL), to help raise its profile as it expands in the US market.

LOS ANGELES: Azteca America, a Spanish-language TV network, has tapped Weber Shandwick Worldwide's Hispanic practice, Weber Shandwick Latin (WSL), to help raise its profile as it expands in the US market.

Azteca launched in the US last year. It has a flagship station in LA, as well as affiliates in Reno, NV, the Bay Area, and Houston. Azteca hopes to reach 30%-40% of the US market by year's end, according to WSL EVP Armando Azarloza, who heads the Hispanic practice.

"Our first focus is to try to raise the profile of the brand across a variety of sectors, explained Azarloza. That includes building awareness with potential advertisers, and creating marketing campaigns for affiliates.

Anne Burkhimer, VP in WSL's consumer and entertainment marketing group, will also work on the campaign.

Azteca faces tough competition from Univision, NBC-owned Telemundo, and Hispanic Television Network, all of which offer a similar mix of sports, variety shows, telenovelas, and news. But the market is growing, and Azteca has the advantage of producing a large portion of its content.

Nielsen estimates that for 2000-2001, there were almost 9 million Hispanic-American households in the US.

"The US Hispanic market is big, and there's plenty of room, said Azarloza.

"This is not just a small operator that decided to buy a couple of stations.

This is a very proven and significant entity in Mexico City that has done very well over the years."

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