Microsoft Blocking Ads Targeted at Hispanics?

I received an interesting tip from the folks at, a Latin dating site. According to this post on their site Microsoft AdCenter won’t accept Spanish ads or ads that go to pages with Spanish on them.

To clarify this a bit further, the issue appears to be with running these types of campaigns in the US itself. Here is the gist of Microsoft’s communication with the site owners:

The reason for the disapproval is because of the use of a foreign language on the landing page. You are using the English US distribution channel and targeting the US and so you must use only the English language on the landing page.

Here’s the kicker:

Also, note that the words tu media naranja in the ad will need to be changed to English.

The site owner also reports that campaigns with Google and Yahoo went ahead with no problem. It seems to me that this is an oversight on Microsoft’s part. It looks like they are trying to ensure a higher degree of relevance for the US audience, but simply missed the mark on this one.

The US Census bureau reports that there were more than 44 million Hispanics in the US as of 2006. That’s more than 10% of the US population. As I covered in a recent post on Search Engine Watch about Hispanic Search Marketing, marketing in a culturally sensitive way to specific ethnic groups is really a market requirement these days.

I will ask Microsoft for a comment on this. Unless I misunderstand what’s going on here, I have to imagine that they will fix this.


  1. says

    Hi Kenrick,

    I am with you to a point. I hate having to “press 1 for English” when listening to phone menus. That said, there is a large Hispanic audience in the US, nearly 15% of the country, and some advertisers would like to be able to single out that audience. Tells us English speaking folks at the same time to not bother clicking through on that ad.

  2. says

    Before I moved to Perth in Oz, I lived in one of the heavily hispanic areas of Denver. There were signs I saw and shops I went into that had nothing to do with English, so I learned to adapt to it.

    Now? Yo hablo espanol asi asi, pero comprende muy bien.

    It’s all about rolling with the changes. MS better fix up.

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