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Puerto Rico’s advertising industry generates $1.6B in economic activity

Puerto Rico’s advertising industry generates close to $1.6 billion in economic activity, which in turn pumps $93.1 million into the government’s coffers, according to a study of the sector commissioned to research firm Estudios Técnicos.

The sector generates 16,533 direct, indirect, and induced jobs, representing a combined payroll of $500 million, according to the study commissioned by the Puerto Rico Advertising Association.

The research also concluded that for every dollar that is invested in advertising, $2.12 is generated in economic activity. That said, it is estimated that the industry generated $93.1 million in revenue for the government’s coffers.

“Looking at all of this information, we developed an understanding of what the definition of the industry is, and we estimated all of the direct and indirect impacts, including expanding the definition of the sector to include several economic activities,” said Graham Castillo, of Estudios Técnicos.

The study shows that the sector comprises advertising agencies, creative industries which provide services to the agencies, as well as traditional and digital advertising.

When broken down, the analysis showed that the 292 advertising agencies in Puerto Rico generate $468 million in economic activity, representing 30% of the sector. Agencies generate 3,480 direct, indirect, and induced jobs, whose average salaries are $44,217.

“Advertising industry employees are better paid, on average, when compared to the average annual salary for all industries,” Castillo confirmed.

Meanwhile, Castillo said that the sector has great potential for growth, not just locally but off-island “to populations who are interested not only in what we communicate from Puerto Rico, but about Puerto Rico’s products and services.”

The last time the Association commissioned a study to measure the sector’s impact on the island’s economy was in 2014, so the most current analysis used an entirely different methodology to include new players and technologies.

“The reality is that Puerto Rico is a different place now, and different from what we see in other markets,” said Alexandra Caraballo, an executive of the Lopito, Ileana & Howie advertising agency and incoming president of the Puerto Rico Advertising Association.

“We have higher-than-average older adult population, which gives way for different types of media consumption. Television, for example is the proven sales channel for advertising,” she said. “But as far as digital channels, they will continue to grow because it’s a media that’s being adopted by all targets.”

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.
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