BET leads coalition of Black media/agencies to beef up ad dollars

BET Networks has taken the lead in addressing the long-standing issue of getting corporations to invest more advertising dollars in Black-oriented media, in giving appropriate value to the Black consumer market. The cable company has brought together a consortium of Black-oriented media companies and advertising agencies for a campaign to "encourage increased investments in the African American consumer marketplace," it was announced in a statement issued today.

The consortium's members include 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.

The consortium is launching the campaign using the name and hash tag #INTHEBLACK, and it also intends to demonstrate to corporations how its members can help companies reach the African American audience more effectively.

"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," said Debra Lee, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, for BET Networks.

The consortium will be undertaking an advertising campaign aimed at both consumers and advertisers to make both aware of the growing economic impact of the Black consumers. The first ad appeared which today in the New York Times was intended to speak directly to senior corporate marketing executives.

Statistical data from numerous sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, project that the buying power of Black consumers will exceed $1 trillion by 2015.

Current advertising spending in Black media by the top 50 advertisers is less than $2 billion and has dropped slightly in recent years, according to Target Market News.

Members of the consortium will be attending next week's MAAX Summit in Chicago where they will further discuss upcoming plans and encourage industry-wide involvement in the campaign.

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