Some US companies are refraining from investing in advertising aimed at the Hispanic community, according to a trade body representing 45,000 Latino marketing, media and research executives.

Linda Lane Gonzalez, head of the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies said the change is part of a wider trend — businesses are worried about offending “openly racist” supporters of US president Donald Trump.

So far, it is mainly smaller companies which have distanced themselves from marketing efforts aimed at the Latino community.

It has been business as usual for larger companies, who regularly advertise to all different races and ethnicities across the US.

“The ones that are pulling back are going to suffer the consequences,” Gonzalez warned.

Two small retailers, a financial group and a manufacturer based in Mexico, clients of Gonzalez’s own Miami-based marketing firm, Viva Partnership, have already stepped back from their campaigns aimed at Latinos.

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By GlobalData

“What they are saying to me is that they are concerned about whether now is the time to focus on minority markets because of — and this is how it was described — ‘the new political environment’,” she said.

“I talk to a lot of mid-sized [Hispanic advertising] agencies and they have experienced the same thing. We are all talking about three to four clients that we have lost in this new political environment — which I describe as open racism.”

There are an estimated 57m Hispanics living in the US.

Trump has called for the mass deportation of undocumented immigrants and is in the process of constructing a wall along the US-Mexico border.

Trump’s racism appealed more to US voters than his authoritarianism during the presidential race, according to a Washington Post article written by Thomas Wood, an assistant professor at Ohio State University who studies public opinion and elections