International News - Gap ads target Hispanic dollar

Gap will become the latest retailer to target the increasingly important Hispanic market when it launches Spanish language TV ads in the US this holiday season.

According to analysts at Bear Stearns, the campaign - for Gap's Old Navy brand - will account for a sharp hike in the retailer's third-quarter advertising spend. Gap will spend US$200 million (£119.8 million) compared with US$167 million (£100 million) in the same period last year.

Fourth-quarter advertising spend is expected to increase to US$150 million (£89.9 million) from US$134 million (£80.3 million) last year, driven by the Gap division, which will segment its advertising according to gender and product in the second half of its autumn campaign.

The spending power of Hispanic shoppers, which last year totalled US$580 billion (£347.48 billion), is attracting many US retailers. RadioShack has developed a TV advertising campaign targeting the market, and Kmart sought to capitalise on the popularity of Hispanic singer Thalia by launching a womenswear range in August named after her.

Gap needs to become more local in its international marketing and merchandising and is working to target specific demographics through its advertising, broker Bear Stearns reported Gap boss Paul Pressler as saying.