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Advertisers are 'Missing Out' on Black Audiences
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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AdLand knows what it likes. It loves the young people, the parents (especially mommies), it has growing affection for dads, it loves the working single woman, it appreciates grandparents, and it loves city-dwellers.

AdLand has never shown a lot of love for black people.

It is not a racist thing; it is simply an audience it never dwelled on. But as purchasing power for black people grows, organizations like Nielsen believe it may be worth it to reconsider adding this group to AdLand’s “like” list.

Nielsen came out with a report that showed that African-Americans in the United States watch TV 37 percent more than any other audience, yet out of the $75 Billion dollars spent in the U.S. in advertising, a meager 3 percent went to media with black audiences.

That’s $2.2 billion. The report continued on to say that nearly half of those African-Americans watching TV were under the age of 35, and the average viewing time a day hovered around 7 hours a day.

But why does AdLand fail to show up?

Who knows? Perhaps it feels that it cannot relate. Maybe it acknowledges that Black society is admittedly different than the “mainstream” — though not by much — and the advertising elite do not feel that it’s worth it to dedicate resources to create a message just for them. Maybe there is something hidden underneath the relationship between AdLand and the black-owned media stations. We vaguely recall an organization having to institute policies where a certain percentage of media had to go to black-owned stations.

Or maybe this is simply blown out of proportion. Perhaps black audiences simply don’t use what the other $73 billion dollars is trying to advertise.

Or maybe, just maybe, Nielsen is right — something needs to change. 

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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