Today a new Black media and marketing consortium is launching a campaign called #INTHEBLACK. The “revolutionary” campaign is designed to increase investments in the African American consumer marketplace, while helping companies reach the African American audience more effectively.
Can I say “waste of time and good resources?” The best thing we can do on behalf of the Black community globally and within America is to leave these damn companies alone that are not trying to build meaningful relationships with our community. There I said it.
Black folks and our leaders need to stop chasing these companies and trying to force more of our dollars in their cash registers. I’ve talked previously about the fact that Black consumers represent the 16th largest nation according to the Nielsen 2011 State of the African American Consumer Report. The cold hard fact is that as long as these companies are able to get 95% of the African American consumer dollar, without having to spend a dime of their advertising budget to do so, it’s going to be business as usual. They know it, and now you know it.
There is no more brand-conscious, brand-loyal, conspicuously consuming consumer— than the African American. At all income levels we disproportionately spend on entire categories of products including automobiles, wine & spirits, baby care products, groceries, health and beauty products, personal care products, apparel, electronics, movies and travel and entertainment.
The question is, what do we have to show for this rampant consumerism with companies that we do not own or control? High unemployment, devastated communities, lack of resources, and bleak economic realities.
According to the announcement “The consortium will use its collective resources and strength to speak to the advertising community and consumer audience to raise awareness and create a sense of urgency around the economic opportunity the black consumer segment presents. African American media has the unique ability to reach the African American consumer base directly and is an important resource in identifying and establishing trends within the black community. #INTHEBLACK aims to amplify the value of engaging African Americans through black targeted media and agencies.“
We have already done our part as consumers. It’s past time for these companies to pony-up some jobs, access to the distribution channel, senior level positions, board of director seats, and proportionate shares of their advertising dollars to our Black-owned media. Black people have been consuming in America for over 400 years. It’s time to build from within.
Debra Lee, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, for BET Networks said, “We are excited to partner with some of the nation’s most influential media and marketing groups to highlight the growing economic opportunity of the Black marketplace. As a collective, we are better positioned to demonstrate the value of targeting the black consumer audience and partnering with leading brands to help them succeed.”
To create the consortium, BET Networks has partnered with HuffPost BlackVoices, Black Enterprise, Burrell Communications, Cable Advertising Bureau, Essence Communications, GlobalHue, Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, KJLH Radio, Johnson Publishing Company, National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters, Nielsen, North Star Group, National Newspaper Publishers Association, One Solution, Radio One, TV One, Interactive One, Reach Media, Steve Harvey Radio, TheGrio, The Root, The Africa Channel, UniWorld Group, Vibe Media and Walton Isaacson.
#INTHEBLACK will be keeping consumers informed on companies that are exemplary leaders in supporting and working with the African American community. A new website was also announced at www.areyouintheblack.org