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You'll receive news of breaking stories, exclusives, updates and headlines on the latest developments in African American marketing and media

Frequently requested data on African American consumers

Black Buying Power:
  $656 Billion (2003)

Black U.S. Population:
  38.3 million

Top Five Black Cities
  - New York
  - Chicago
  - Detroit
  - Philadelphia
  - Houston

Top Five Black Metros:
  - New York-New Jersey
  - Washington-Baltimore
  - Chicago-Gary
  - Los Angeles
  - Philadelphia

Top Five Expenditures:
 - Housing 145.2 bil.
 - Food 56.5 bil.
 - Cars/Trucks 32.6 bil.
 - Clothing 23.0 bil.
 - Health Care 18.0 bil.

Click here for more stats from "The Buying Power of Black America."
Get quick access to key
U.S. Census 
Bureau Data

Click here to go to African-American Census Bureau data

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UniWorld moves beyond 30-second spot with mini-movie for new Lincoln MKS 6-27-08

IMAGES USA expands multicultural capabilities with promotion of Joan Villas 6-26-08

Ad agency Interpublic Group sees progress in effort to build diversity 6-23-08

Memorial service announced for Pat Tobin, pioneering public relations professional 6-20-08

Miami-based Circle of One Marketing eyes social change with new division 6-13-08

TV Ratings for Week of June 2 - 8, 2008

Spike Lee creates AIDS PSA for Abbott, Magic Johnson Foundation 6-11-08

Patricia L. Tobin, public relations pioneer and icon, loses fight with cancer 6-10-08

Renetta McCann stepping down as Starcom MediaVest CEO 6-10-08

Alloy Access, Real Content form alliance for multicultural mobile strategy 6-10-08

Pepsi partners with Howard University with 'Four Weeks For Father' campaign 6-9-08

Honorees named for 2008 Marketing to African Americans with Excellence (MAAX) Awards 6-5-08

Sean Combs, Spike Lee help Burger King promote later hours in TV spots 6-2-08

UPTOWN magazine hires Squeakywheel Promotions for PR push 6-2-08

Def Jam artist Chrisette Michele partners with TBS in 'House of Payne' promo 5-28-08

Arnold names Reginald Osborne SVP, Director of Multicultural Marketing 5-28-08

Howard University, 4A's join forces to increase diversity in ad industry 5-23-08

OwensMorris named PR, engagement marketing agency for Luster Products 4-28-08

Colgate launches online Mother's Day promotion with gospel duo Mary Mary 4-28-08

Madison Ave. charts some progress in meeting diversity hiring goals 4-21-08

Nationwide Insurance strikes deal with talk show host Tavis Smiley 4-18-08

Ford extends successful partnership of documentary with new promotion 4-17-08

Equals Three ad agency marks 25th year with launch of youth foundation 4-14-08

IMAGES USA ad agency announces new hires and promotions 4-8-08

Ohio tourism multicultural marketing account awarded to Singleton & Partners 4-7-08

Nissan review for black and Hispanic ad agencies is underway 3-25-08

GlobalHue issues statement on its resignation of American Airlines account 3-14-08

Nationwide Insurance signs onto Screenvision's black cinema network 2-29-08

Survey: Marketers still don't get how to do multicultural marketing 2-26-08

P&G ads for women of color reflect global differences 2-15-08

Lexus enters partnership with Grammy-winning recording artist Alicia Keys 2-12-08

Interpublic, Steve Stout and Jay-Z form Translation Advertising agency 2-8-08

Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson support African American Lives 2 2-6-08

Toyota launches new print and radio ads by Burrell promoting education 2-4-08

NitroMed suspends marketing of heart drug BiDil, cuts staff 1-31-08.

GM picks Sanders\Wingo, Carol H. Williams for African-American ad accounts 1-30-08

Nielsen report: Black targeted ad spending exceeds $2.3 billion annually 1-30-08

Coors signs covenant with National Black Economic Development Coalition 1-29-08

Advertisers meet with FCC over 'No Urban, Hispanic Dictates' 1-28-08

Coke's Black History Month spot launches 2008 African-American marketing plan 1-28-08

Linda Bocage revs up multicultural programs as VP for GM Planworks 1-25-08

Ads from UniWorld GlobalHue among winners of 2008 Urban Wheels Awards 1-18-02

Allstate sees Gospel Music Channel as connection with black customers 1-14-08

Valencia Gayles named CEO of the True advertising agency 12-19-07

Omnicom pledges $1.25 million to newly created diversity hiring initiative 12-18-07

Maybelline signs supermodel Jessica White as latest spokesperson 12-13-07

NAMD calls on GM to reconsider its restructuring plans for black ad agencies 12-6-07

Leslie Wingo, VP of Sanders/Wingo agency, named to Austin Ad Fed board 12-5-07

GlobalHue to add 100 to its staff in New York and Detroit area offices 12-4-07

GM's LeNeve weighs talent against ownership in black ad agency review 12-3-07

GM's Mark LeNeve explains re-structuring, review of black ad agencies 11-30-07

McDonald's USA CMO, William 'Bill' Lamar, announces retirement 11-29-07

Changing Gears: GM restructuring drives away black owned-ad agency 11-27-07

Restructuring plan by GM will eliminate all black ad agencies of record 11-20-07

GlobalHue re-organizes its ethnic expertise into separate ad agencies 11-15-07

SMG unveils study at ANA that suggests new approach to black consumers 11-8-07

Study: Bank of America underserves black and Latino neighborhoods 11-7-07

Elizabeth Arden signs licensing deal to launch Rocawear product line 11-6-07

Interpublic acquires Steve Soute's Translation Consulting + Brand Imaging 11-1-07

Kraft Foods appoints Mary Beth West as Chief Marketing Officer 10-30-07

Sean 'Diddy' Combs forms strategic alliance with Ciroc Vodka 10-26-07

Will politics be a hurdle for R.J. Dale agency and Illinois lottery account? 10-18-07

ADCOLOR 2007 Awards to be presented at ANA Multicultural Conference 10-9-07

GlobalHue brings new Jeep Liberty ad campaign to black, Hispanic car buyers 9-28-07

Alloy launches ethnic outdoor network in black barbershops, salons 9-28-07

Prime Access debuts White House's anti-drug campaign targeting teens 9-27-07

Advertisers tell radio to keep making the case for African-American market 9-21-07

Aliz brand liqueur launches campaign to recapture black female consumers 9-20-07

New Yankelovich report shows blacks, Hispanics more receptive to ads 9-18-07

Muse Communications launches ad campaign for redesigned Honda Accord

P&G's Najoh Tita-Reid added as speaker at Power of Urban Radio event 9-17-07

Dodge ads target women, minorities with debut of marketing blitz 9-14-07

Helen Shelton to head Ruder Finn's multicultural and image marketing group 9-11-07

GlobalHue to handle 2010 Census� African-American and Hispanic accounts 9-10-07

Black consumers drive P&G's Gain detergent to billion-dollar status 9-7-07

Three black-owned firms come together to win Lexus advertising account 8-30-07

Venus Williams launches fashion line, EleVen, in deal with Steve & Barry's chain 8-24-07

GAO: Minority ad agencies got five percent of $4.3 billion spent on gov�t advertising 8-15-07

Allstate focuses initiatives for African-American market 'Beyond February' 8-13-07 

Lexus names Walton / Isaacson as its African-American ad agency 8-10-07

Fidelity National names Andrea Debnam Multicultural Marketing Manager 8-10-07

Intel issues apologies for racial insensitivity in its recently pulled new product ad 8-6-07

Intel is criticized for racially insensitive ad it tried to recall 8-1-07

Three African American firms are honored by PRSA in 2007 Silver Anvil Awards 6-29-07

Winners of
MAAX Awards to be honored July 2nd during Research & Ad Summit 6-29-07

Why multicultural car ads don't drive home message to ethnic audiences 6-22-07

UniWorld Group wins Radio Mercury Award for urban Burger King spot  6-21-07

Global Advertising 1st unveils HUD's multicultural homeownership ad campaign 6-18-07

Ad agencies band together to strengthen industry clout and leverage their power 6-13-07

Burrell launches fatherhood initiative with a multimedia campaign 6-11-07

GlaxoSmithKline's niche marketing strategy for diabetes drug under stress 6-6-07

GM Truck campaign from CHWA targets the urban African-American market  5-25-07 

GM marketing chief Mike Jackson to depart position next month 5-18-07

Prime Access wins best multicultural ad award in 2007 PhAME competition 5-17-07

Joseph Rodney Lawrence, leader in beauty products marketing, dies at 59 5-16-07

Toyota unveils an urban marketing campaign for Yaris with Burrell creative 5-11-07

Black marketing firms hired to push black attendance for August Wilson's last play 5-9-07

Renetta McCann takes Starcom MediaVest Group to the top of media buyers 5-8-07

GlobalHue ranks 29th in Advertising Age�s 2006 agency special report 5-4-07

Edward F. Boyd, trailblazer in black consumer marketing for Pepsi, dies 5-3-07

Obama campaign taps GMMB, SS&K ad agencies for presidential primary effort 4-26-07

Alloy agency announces multicultural division, merges media and marketing  4-18-07

As more advertisers pull their support, NBC cancels Don Imus' cable show 4-12-07 

Advertisers pull out of Don Imus' radio show following fallout from his comments 4-11-07

Coors Light to get expanded multicultural marketing focus 4-6-07

UniWorld Group promotes J.P. James to director of strategic planning 4-3-07

Southwest, U.S. Army join as sponsors for 'Roots' anniversary on TV One 3-30-07

Crossover Creative Group gives another angle to recruitment for police department  3-27-07

Steve Stoute in talks with IPG on sale of majority stake in his agency, Translation 3-22-07

Muse targets urban consumers with viral campaign for Honda Civic 3-21-07

Survey: Black doctors say consumer ads improve doctor-patient relationships 3-13-07

Terrie Williams, PR exec and author, named spokesperson for Blue World Travel 3-12-07

Ogilvy names Donna Pedro to new Chief Diversity Officer position 3-8-07

Starcom MediaVest launches SMG Multicultural to be led by Monica Gadsby 3-8-07

4As diversity panel says more execs of color needed at top of media firms 3-2-07

Cheryl Pearson-McNeil named Senior Vice President, Communications ACNielsen 2-28-07

Charisse Browner named Vice President of Lagrant Communications 2-28-07

Procter & Gamble�s advertising targeting African-Americans has paid off 2-25-07

Atlanta-based IMAGES USA selected as Amtrak�s multicultural ad agency 2-22-07

Burrell study sheds light on consumers� attitudes toward Black History Month 2-22-07

Tavis Smiley partners with AEG to stage major African-American events 2-12-07

Advertising industry working fast to boost minority hiring, increase internships 2-12-07

E. Morris Communications ad for Tyson cited by IAG for effectiveness 2-9-07

GlobalHue campaign credited for record breaking tourism in Bermuda 1-29-07

GlobalHue�s Coleman calls new Wal-Mart account a �strategic fit� for agency 1-22-07

Jerri DeVard, high-profile SVP for Verizon Communications, resigns post 1-17-07

New Verizon campaign emphasizes Black History is not confined to one month 1-17-07

Wal-Mart selects GlobalHue to provide creative on African-American ad campaigns 1-16-07

As NYC releases minority hiring goals, agencies scramble on recruitment drives 1-16-07

Sen. Schumer: We�re waiting for ad industry to truly embrace diversity 1-8-07

Toyota spot from Burrell uses an entrepreneurial theme for Avalon launch 1-8-07

Draft Obama movement boasts first TV spot of the 2008 presidential campaign 12-20-06

Julie Roehm, Wal-Mart's senior vice president of marketing, leaves retailer 12-6-06

Harley-Davidson names two African-American execs to marketing, HR posts 12-5-06

Magic Johnson, Abbott launch initiative to reduce black HIV/AIDS infections 12-5-06

Carol Watson, Tangerine form multicultural recruitment firm for ad industry 12-4-06

Ann Fudge prepares to exit post as chairman, CEO of Y&R Brands 11-29-06

Burrell's campaign for Verizon wins ANA award for "Significant Results" 11-20-06

E. Morris Communications wins ANA Award for Tyson Foods campaign 11-17-06

Jesse Jackson tells ANA conference more hearings planned on ad industry 11-15-06

R.J. Dale Advertising named finalist for ANA Multicultural Excellence Awards 11-15-06 

Seeking Street Cred: Buick wants to woo African-American buyers 11-13-06

Lagrant Communications adds five new accounts to its growing client roster 11-10-06

Crown Royal on the 'cutting edge' with African-American marketing initiative 11-6-06

Nick Howse, veteran ad executive and supporter of black media, dies at 58 10-26-06

The best hires the ad industry never discovered: A visit to Bklyn's City Tech 10-17-06

TRUE agency launches next phase of 'Infiniti in Black' ad campaign 10-6-04

PepsiCo tries marketing 'healthier' snacks to African-Americans and Latinos 10-6-06

Verizon wins two AAF  Mosaic Awards for multicultural ad campaigns 10-2-06

The TRUE ad agency expands into the South with new Nashville office 9-27-06

As Advertising Week begins, spotlight still on industry�s hiring and spending policies 9-925-06

Omnicom ad agencies sign diversity pacts with NY Human Rights Commission 9-21-06

Poll: 93% think new agency agreements won't solve ad industry�s diversity problem 9-21-06

E. Morris Communications announces promotion of long-time staff members 9-15-06

IMAGES USA reports the addition of three new clients, three staff appointments 9-12-06

Memphis marketing communication firms  join forces to attract new business 9-12-06

E. Morris Communications wins Mosaic Award for best multicultural ad campaign 9-11-06

New York City advertising firms sign agreement to hire more black managers  9-11-06

Omnicom agrees to pay $2.5 million as part of diversity initiative  9-8-06

Several ad agencies sign agreements to forestall diversity hearings 9-7-06

Lagrant Communications marks 16th anniversary with expansion to Nashville 9-6-06

NitroMed plans ads for heart drug that focus on quality of life rather than race 9-5-06

Michelle Gadsden-Williams named global head of diversity for Novartis 9-05-06

Florida's black-owned media blasts ad spending by political campaigns 9-01-06

Burrell Communications wins American Advertising Federation Mosaic Award 8-29-06

O2 Ideas CEO Shelley Stewart named Ad Man of the Year by Birmingham Ad Fed 8-21-06

Volkswagen taps "Idlewild" screenings for African-American marketing effort 8-18-06

Flowers Communications marks 15th anniversary with new Hispanic division 8-16-06

Yankelovich study: African Americans show strong reconnection to heritage 8-15-06

Wal-Mart backed film on Gullah/Geechee culture picks yet another honor 8-14-06

General Mills launches new African-American and Hispanic initiatives 8-8-06

Philadelphia pulls ads for HIV testing featuring young black men in crosshairs 8-8-06

Lagrant Communications names Minerva Finkley to creative director post 8-4-06

Stereotypical images of big black women becoming popular in advertising again 8-1-06

Burrell's Ferguson: Marketers should focus on African-Americans online 7-27-06

E. Morris Communications sweeps 27th annual Telly Awards with seven honors 7-20-06

Macy's North taps Burrell Engagement Marketing for corporate relations effort 7-17-06

IMAGES USA hires Barbara C. Williams to be agency's account supervisor 7-7-06

UniWorld Group puts an urban focus on Ford�s Fusion and F-150 campaigns 7-5-06

First recipients of the MAAX Awards to be honored in Chicago tomorrow 7-5-06

Burrell retained for campaign to encourage joint replacement treatment 6-21-06
Advertising: An industry still so white; but few will discuss it 6-19-06
Advertising agency chiefs subpoenaed for NYC diversity hearings 6-13-06

Advertisers to benefit from multi-platform marketing campaign for BET Awards 6-12-06

Chevy ad campaign pays tribute to artists for Black Music Month 6-9-06

Charles L. Wimbley, founder of Wimbley Group ad agency, dies at the age of 60 6-2-06

Allstate names Anise D. Wiley-Little to head re-structured diversity office 5-31-06

Burrell Communications' Fay Ferguson named Advertising Woman of the Year 5-25-06

Sen. John Kerry requests GAO study of federal advertising contracts to minorities 5-17-06

True Agency CEO blasts ad industry�s 'sanctioned segregation' during panel 5-9-06

EMC wins District Addy Awards from AAF, now eyeing national competition 5-1-06

R.J. Dale, Third World Press make history with marketing of 'The Covenant' 4-24-06

Burrell names Lewis Williams new Chief Creative Officer, replacing Steve Conner 4-11-06

OwensMorris Communications agency launched in Chicago by ad veterans 4-10-06

EMC wins gold and silver in Service Industry Advertising Awards 4-10-06

More fast-food ads shown on Black-oriented TV, study says 4-7-06

Black ad agencies say they have been unfairly targeted in IDOT audits 4-3-06

SpikeDDB's Anheuser-Busch spots give black spin to 'Here's to Beer' theme 3-31-06

New York's Human Rights Commissioner reprimands ad industry on hiring 3-30-06

Equals Three Communications gets American Assoc. for Geriatric Psychiatry 3-24-06

New York City to subpoena ad agency execs in diversity probe 3-6-06
Vigilante, Ad Council campaign targets health and lifestyles of black women 2-28-06

Axis Agency names Kevin Hooks senior vp for African-American marketing 2-20-06

GM elevates Mike Jackson to Vice President of marketing and advertising 2-17-06

Cheryl Procter-Rogers takes the helm as President and CEO of PRSA 2-17-06

Carol H. Williams appoints Ella Britton Vice President, Group Account Director 2-16-06

GAO: Bush administration put $1.6 billion into ad agencies and PR firms  2-15-06

Census Bureau starts hunt for ad agencies for 2010 campaign 2-14-06

Advertisers are tuning into cable tie-ins for Black History Month 2-13-06

AAF surveys reveal significant challenges in recruiting and retaining minorities 2-10-06

GlobalHue is selected as AOR for Bermuda Department of Tourism 2-6-06

Lagrant Communications opens entertainment and sports practice 2-3-06

The Flamingos wins settlement from Pepsi for unauthorized song in ad 1-31-06

Vigilante agency names Valerie Graves as Chief Creative Officer 1-27-06

Wal-Mart black history program gives glimpse of Gullah/Geechee Nation 1-27-06

Vonetta Flowers, Winter Olympics gold medalist, is a hot endorser 1-17-06

Carol H. Williams agency wins top ad honor at Urban Wheel Awards 1-13-06

Amtrak selects Images USA as its AOR for the southeast region 1-6-06

Burrell uses Website, podcasts, blogs for Lexus African-American effort 1-5-06

Caribbean tourism officials urged to do more advertising with black press 1-3-06

Illinois' native black celebrities promotes state's attractions in campaign 1-3-06

Danielle Ashley, Walgreens unveil HBCU calendar to benefit schools 12-16-05

Miles Ahead Entertainment named AOR for Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference 12-13-05

IMAGES USA grows its client roster, staff and office space 12-8-05

Carol H. Williams joins McCann as winner of $1.3 billion Army account 12-8-05

Burrell announces newly hired staff members throughout agency 12-5-05

Burrell named agency of record for NitroMed, maker of BiDil heart drug 11-25-05 

Advertisers embrace gospel music's affluent black Christian market 11-27-05

Novartis names Michelle Gadsden-Williams to diversity post 11-21-05

Burrell is top award winner at ANA's Multicultural Marketing competition 11-14-05

Toyota launches Web-based effort for Corolla from Image That and Burrell 11-11-05

Black publishers angered by lack of ad dollars in Calif. special election 11-8-05

Procter & Gamble assigns Olay to Burrell Angela Bassett does narration 11-4-05

Ford, UniWorld and FuseMaster Flex join forces on '06 Fusion campaign 11-3-05

Paramount removes billboards for film starring rapper 50 Cent after protests 11-2-05

Jack Klues named Publicis Media chair, Renetta McCann to Starcom global CEO 10-27-05

Florida county launches pilot project to win back black tourists 10-24-05

Matlock Advertising relocates to historic downtown Atlanta office building 10-21-05

Camillia Ware named Director of Media Services for UniWorld Group 10-17-05

ABSOLUT selects Axis Agency, LAGRANT Communications as AOR 10-14-05

Burrell teams Cee-Lo with Toyota for Corolla spots 10-10-05

Pepsi says rumors that endorser Kanye West has been dropped are false 9-27-05

Burrell makes multiple appointments in agency's media department 9-20-05

Verizon uses real customer stories in multi-media grassroots campaign from Burrell 9-8-05

SWG&M rebrands itself as Sanders\Wingo to reflect new focus at ad agency

(Sept. 8, 2005) Sanders\Wingo has announced the formal launch of its updated agency brand.  Formerly SWG&M Advertising, Inc., the new agency name reflects its focus on building bridges between visionary companies and the rapidly growing urban audience.
While Sanders\Wingo maintains strong relationships with general market clients in fields such as tourism, information technology and public education, it has also developed a highly successful practice reaching out to consumer markets that are setting trends and building sales for companies across the country.  
"The urban audience is the new reality for growth-oriented companies," noted Bob Wingo, President and CEO of Sanders\Wingo.  "And many of these companies are looking for expertise in building a brand that communicates authentically – speaking on the urban audience's own terms.  Our collective experience in general market and African American brand marketing puts us in a unique position to benefit these companies."
"Sanders\Wingo is different from many agencies in that it understands urban isn't just Black or Hispanic.  It's a blend of cultural influences with distinct tastes and preferences," noted Scott McAfee, Executive Creative Director for Sanders\Wingo. "It's no secret that urban culture is a major driver for many consumers – both in the city and out in the suburbs."
Sanders\Wingo currently maintains client relationships with several national brands tapping the urban market, including SBC, Blockbuster Entertainment, Shell Oil Products U.S. and the U.S. Postal Service.  As the agency grows its practice, it will continue to promote a holistic cultural approach to companies looking to build an authentic urban identity.
Sanders\Wingo is a full-service brand marketing agency with practices in both general market and urban marketing.  It is one of the largest African American-owned advertising agency in the country. Established in 1958, it employs marketing professionals in El Paso and Austin, Texas. Sanders\Wingo offers clients strategic planning, account service, media, creative, print, interactive and broadcast production.

Nationwide Insurance launches new ad campaign for African-American consumers

(August 10, 2005) Nationwide Insurance has launched a new advertising campaign to reach African American consumers. The campaign promotes auto insurance with three TV commercials and radio and print ads, relating to those unexpected situations people face in their daily lives.

The ads use a humorous approach to reach a serious conclusion about the importance of having the right insurance coverage in anticipation of personal needs.

"We value the opportunity to increase our brand among African American consumers and let them know that Nationwide is there for them when those unexpected situations happen," said Luis Calva, marketing specialist for Nationwide's diverse markets advertising. "The message to customers is that if your insurance card says "Nationwide," you are covered and your agent will be there for you, maybe even anticipating your needs."

The campaign presents three scenarios: "Lotto," "Lipstick" and "Cousin." All three depict situations that a person may encounter in their life, in order to point out how valuable it is to have a Nationwide agent there to ensure that they have the coverage they need when they need it.

These ads communicate the "Life Comes at You Fast" message in a culturally relevant way and, together with outreach and community efforts, they demonstrate that Nationwide is truly interested in increasing its market share of the African American consumer segment.

"I believe this advertising campaign demonstrate our understanding that diverse consumers have different experiences with our products and validate our commitment to provide them quality products and services," said Calva. "Our objective was to develop a campaign that will enhance our credibility and brand among African American consumers."

Created by Matlock Advertising, the campaign features three :30 television spots, as well as radio and print ads, and was launched in fourteen major U.S. markets.

BellSouth debuts new African-American and Hispanic ads for new DSL service

(August 9, 2005) BellSouth has announced the launch of African-American advertising campaigns to support its simplified pricing structure for new residential BellSouth Fast Access customers. "These campaigns are the largest advertising initiatives BellSouth has made in the Hispanic and African-American markets," said William Pate, vice president of advertising and public relations - BellSouth. "Through the campaigns, we illustrate our new high-speed Internet pricing structure – a simple, affordable Internet experience without the pricing gimmicks that are prevalent in many broadband offers today."

BellSouth's campaign to target the African-American customer segment emphasizes the simplicity and price consistency of Fast Access DSL, as well as highlights the benefits of moving from dial-up to high-speed Internet service .BellSouth has placed ads in television, radio and direct mail media in several major Southeast markets.

The new Hispanic advertising campaign is a "celebration" of the new, simple and gimmick-free Fast Access DSL price of as low as $24.95. Advertising will run in Atlanta, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Raleigh-Durham and West Palm Beach. Ad mediums will vary per market and include television, radio, newspaper, online and direct mail.

BellSouth's new Hispanic and African-American advertising campaigns were developed to support the company's recent move to simplify its broadband pricing structure. BellSouth now offers a single low price, with no shipping and handling or activation fees, for each speed of its Fast Access DSL service for residential customers.

Allstate names Burrell Communications African-American agency of record

(August 2, 2005) Burrell Communications, the Chicago-based advertising agency targeting the African-American market, has been named the African-American agency of record for Allstate. Billings for the account were not disclosed.

Burrell Communications will provide Allstate with integrated communications services to increase its brand preference among African-American consumers in the very competitive auto insurance category. 

"We're pleased that Allstate recognized the great work we've done for our clients, and we're looking forward to creating effective, culturally relevant campaigns for the company," said Fay Ferguson, co-CEO, Burrell Communications.

Last year Allstate launched new advertising to appeal to the African-American market, an extension of its "Our Stand" campaign, featuring actor Dennis Haysbert.

"Burrell has demonstrated its ability to create distinctive, integrated programs that motivate consumers," said Melissa Sturgeon, manager of multicultural marketing communications, Allstate Insurance Company. "We want fresh cultural insights and ideas that produce results as we take our campaign to the next level."

Forensic audit of R.J. Dale agency finds no wrongdoing on Illinois Lottery account

Robert J. Dale(June 25, 2005 - Associated Press) A special audit of the Illinois State Lottery's chief advertising agency has found no evidence the company misused state funds despite the firm's lack of adequate financial records.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich's administration said R.J. Dale Advertising & Public Relations of Chicago will continue to operate as the lottery's main ad company after the $60,000 special audit released Thursday did not find that the company wasted state money.

"No improprieties have been found. Its ads are running, and the campaign is hugely successful, generating millions of dollars for the lottery and garnering national awards for its creative work," said Blagojevich spokeswoman Cheryle Jackson.

The special forensic audit was ordered in January after the Illinois inspector general questioned the relationship between R.J. Dale and the lottery.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan said she was investigating the agency after a state audit last month found that the state paid R.J. Dale $7.1 million to promote the lottery, but the firm could document only $2 million worth of work.

The special audit, which covered a period from Sept. 1, 2003 to Nov. 30, 2004, also found that R.J. Dale failed to provide audited financial statements, canceled checks and bank data, the report said.

"Due to the insufficient reliable documentation and reconciliations of R.J. Dale's records, we have not been able to complete the objectives of this engagement," the special audit said.

But the auditors concluded that based on the limited documents, they "did not find evidence of misuse or waste of the Department of Revenue funds regarding the media purchasing," the report said.

R.J. Dale officials could not be reached for comment, but Robert J. Dale has said his firm has done nothing wrong and there were no discrepancies in the work it did for the state.

Muse Communications, Inc., celebrates two decades in multicultural communications

(June 17, 2005) Muse Communications, Inc. with offices in Los Angeles and New York celebrates its 20th anniversary in multicultural marketing communications on June 15th, 2005. The agency's predecessor, Muse Cordero Chen, was the first black-owned shop created to serve the nation's African-American, Hispanic and Asian markets.

The company, headed by Jo Muse, recently changed its name to Muse Communications, but its mission remains the same; providing breakthrough communications, promotion, research, and event marketing PR services to address the needs of culturally diverse consumers.

Muse clients include the U.S. Army, American Honda, Wells Fargo Bank, MGM MIRAGE and Heineken.

Survey of PR practitioners reveals barriers to diversity, professional growth

(June 9, 2005) A 2004-05 study of Black and Hispanic public relations (PR) practitioners in the United States reveals significant dissatisfaction with the PR profession's commitment to diversity, perceived pervasive discrimination, and widespread concern that multicultural practitioners are relegated to a slow professional track.  The findings also indicate that women-owned / managed firms have a significantly greater commitment to and success in retaining multicultural practitioners, compared to their male counterparts.

The on-line survey was conducted in October 2004 and January 2005 by Lynn Appelbaum (above), APR, Associate Professor, Chair, Department of Media & Communication Arts at The City College of New York, and Rochelle Ford, Ph.D., APR, Assistant Professor, Advertising and PR Sequence Coordinator, Howard University.  RF Binder Partners was the underwriter.

"This is a wake-up call for the PR industry to take significant steps to address diversity," said Professor Appelbaum.  "While we have begun to talk about how to diversify our workforce, industry professionals and HR staffs must take action if we are going to effect meaningful change.  The industry may want to look to women-owned firms for leadership in this important area."

This study gives a snapshot of practitioner perceptions and experiences, and while the news is not all bad, organizations need to work to alleviate the double standards and racism practitioners feel they face in order to attract and retain talent," said Dr. Ford.

Job Satisfaction: Survey results indicate that job satisfaction among Black and Latino professionals is lower than job satisfaction among the general PR practitioner population, with only 45.8% of the respondents feeling satisfied or very satisfied with their jobs, all things considered.  Additionally, Hispanic practitioners experience significantly lower levels of job satisfaction than Blacks.

Work-Related Racism: Respondents consistently report that they have experienced incidences of racism in their careers - 54% experienced subtle discrimination by current or past employers and 40% experienced overt discrimination.  The most common problem (reported by 62%) was having to be more qualified for positions than Caucasian American counterparts.  Additionally, 60% feel multicultural practitioners are put on slow moving career tracks, and 56% feel that multicultural practitioners are frequently relegated to menial tasks.

Nearly half of all respondents reported that they are treated unfairly in the workplace. In 9 of the 18 racism measures, Hispanic practitioners reported significantly higher levels than Black respondents.

Workplace Integration: Despite these negative experiences, multicultural practitioners feel that they are integrated in the workplace and do not see themselves as being relegated to only multicultural clients.  Two thirds note that their projects receive a lot of attention outside their organizations, 72 % interact professionally outside their ethnic group, and 58% interact socially with Caucasian Americans.

Mentoring: Importantly, nearly two thirds agree or strongly agree that they have been mentored by one or more PR practitioners, who made a difference in their success; nearly 84% had at least one white male mentor and 87% had at least one white female mentor. 

Complete survey findings and analysis can be obtained at the www.ccny.cuny.edu/prsurvey, or www.prsany.org.

R.J. Dale agency wins five Telly Awards for Illinois Lottery campaign

Robert J. Dale(June 13) R.J. Dale Advertising & Public Relations, a full service integrated marketing communications agency, was recently announced as the winner of five Telly Awards for its outstanding work on behalf of the Illinois State Lottery's "Have A Ball" advertising campaign.

The Telly Award is the premier award honoring outstanding local, regional, national and cable television commercials and programs, as well as the finest video and film productions.  The Telly Awards competition receives more than 10,000 entries annually from all 50 states and many foreign countries.

R.J. Dale Advertising and Public Relations received the Silver Telly, the highest honor, in the humor category for its 2004 Holiday Return Policy 30-second spot.  Additionally, the agency won three Bronze Telly awards in the humor category for its 2004 Holiday Office Party, Clock and 2004 Holiday Return Policy, Girlfriend 30-second spots, and for a 30-second ad from the agency's Woo campaign featuring noted comedian and entertainer Bernie Mac.  The agency also won a Bronze Telly in the music category for the 2005 Push Play brand campaign for the Illinois Lottery.

"Award-winning work is a hallmark of R.J. Dale Advertising and Public Relations and we are so pleased to add the Illinois Lottery to the long list of clients for whom we have produced outstanding creative," said Robert J. Dale (above), president and CEO of the agency.

e are especially proud to win five Telly Awards, one of the most  coveted awards in our business," Dale said. "Our ultimate goal, however, is to create advertising that moves business as well as advertising that wins awards."

Since winning the Illinois Lottery's general market advertising account in February 2004, R.J. Dale Advertising helped boost Lottery sales a record 8 percent in fiscal year 2005 and is on track to exceed that mark in fiscal 2006. "We take the most pride in delivering excellent results to meet our clients' sales and marketing goals," Dale said.

As the agency of record for the Illinois Lottery, R.J. Dale Advertising and Public Relations is responsible for providing overall strategic direction, creative product, media services, promotions and event development and execution on behalf of Illinois' largest revenue-generating agency.

When Illinois Lottery Superintendent Carolyn Adams learned the agency had captured five awards for its work on the Lottery account, she said, "I am not in the least bit surprised.  That is why R.J. Dale Advertising has our business, because of its proven track record of delivering quality advertising that generates outstanding results."

Director of Marketing, Sarah Cummins added, "This comes as well deserved recognition for all the hours of tireless work RJ Dale has invested in the Illinois Lottery.
We're especially pleased that the advertising community at large shares our praise of these exceptional creative accomplishments."

Over its 26-year history, R.J. Dale has won numerous awards on behalf of clients including the PRSA Skyline Award for best marketing program and best multicultural program.  Last month, R.J. Dale's Public Relations Division won a Publicity Club of Chicago Golden Trumpet Award for its work on behalf of Jewel-Osco.

E. Morris Communications named 'Black Enterprise's Ad Agency of the Year

May 22, 2005 - Eugene Morris (left), president and CEO of E. Morris Communications (EMC) was presented with Black Enterprise magazine's Agency of the Year award for 2004 at their 10th Annual Entrepreneurs Awards Dinner Gala, held Saturday, May 21, in Dallas, TX. Morris accepted his award from Earl G. Graves, Jr., president and COO for Earl G. Graves Publishing Company, publisher of Black Enterprise magazine.

"I'd like to thank Black Enterprise for this wonderful honor," said Morris, "and I would also like to thank the talented EMC team. Without them, this award would not be possible."

A story recognizing the EMC appears in the June issue of Black Enterprise, which is an annual presentation of "The B.E. 100s: The Nation's Largest Black Businesses." EMC ranks in the top 15 leading African American agencies, with $37.7 million in billings and 37 employees.

This award comes on the heels of several other accolades. In March, Eugene Morris was awarded the coveted Martin Luther King Legacy award by the MLK Boys and Girls Club for his philanthropic efforts in the community; and in April, Jacqueline McCauley, EMC senior vice president, was acknowledged by Ebony magazine as one of 12 Outstanding Women in Marketing & Communications.

EMC is a full service agency that provides integrated marketing communications services to multicultural markets, with emphasis on the African American consumer segment. The 16-year-old Chicago based agency has a client roster that includes Wal-Mart, Tyson Foods, Illinois Department of Transportation and American Family Insurance.

R.J. Dale ad agency defends itself against allegations by 'Chicago Tribune'

Robert J. Dale(May 13, 2005) R.J. Dale Advertising and Public Relations is fighting back against allegations raised by the Chicago Tribune that it acted improperly in handling the account of the Illinois Lottery. Since becoming the first black-owned ad agency ever to be assigned the general market account for any state lottery, the agency has been a regular target in the city's daily newspapers.

The Chicago Tribune, which has run a number of articles criticizing Governor Blagojevich as he gears up for re-election, has suggested that the selection of Robert Dale (above) and his agency was an example of political cronyism. 

In response, the agency last week issued the following statement:

On Thursday, May 5, 2005, the Chicago Tribune ran a story on the front page of their Metro Section titled "Lottery blindly paid for ads," and a subheading which read "Agency gave no proof that commercials ran."  Three reporters received byline credit thereby leaving readers with the erroneous impression that the article had been thoroughly researched.

Two days later, a second front-page story ran in the main section with the headline "Blagojevich has second about-face," subtitled "He warns ad agency on lottery contract."  The reporter, Rick Pearson, described RJ Dale's $19 million dollar per year, 2-year contract as "a controversial multimillion-dollar lottery advertising contract."  The only thing that's "controversial" is the unprecedented scrutiny RJ Dale has been subjected to. 

This is a drama that has been going on for more than a year, ever since RJ Dale was named as the Illinois Lottery's interim general market agency in February 2004. The drama picked up steam when we won the general market contract in July 2004, after competing with 13 other agencies.  Maybe Mr. Pearson and the Chicago Tribune considers the contract controversial because for the first time in the Illinois Lottery's 30 year history a Black-owned advertising agency was allowed to compete for, and ultimately won the contract.

This final (we think) audit/forensic investigation of RJ Dale, which is now coming to a close, is the fourth such investigation endured by us in less than a year. We have compiled and submitted for this final audit over 4500 documents including more than 300 job files to the state's auditors. We are certain that the findings will show no fraud or attempted fraud, no mismanagement of funds, no improper invoicing or lack of documentation and no missing money.  The other very pertinent fact we believe the audit investigation will reveal is that RJ Dale is owed over $150,000 for the period being audited.

Now, referring back to that defamatory Chicago Tribune headline" (Lottery blindly paid for ads. Agency gave no proof that commercials ran.)"  RJ Dale and the Illinois Department of Revenue (Lottery) had an agreement that we would maintain all proofs of purchase (media affidavits) in our office rather than attaching them to each Lottery invoice, and the Illinois Department of Revenue would periodically, at its discretion, visit and audit our files and records, which they did. 

This procedure would insure billing accuracy while saving the state labor cost associated with personnel needed to process such a large volume of paper, and according to the American Association of Advertising Agencies, this is standard industry procedure.

Finally, in spite of all the insanity, RJ Dale has helped the Lottery achieve record sales while reversing a 5 year decline in revenue and profits.  State records show an 8.35% sales increase in fiscal year 2004 vs. 2003, and $30 million more going to the State's Common School Fund.  You have to wonder why this was never reported.

The four audits we have undergone and the lies in the press are an indication that there are those obsessed with taking this contract from RJ Dale. We have spent 26 years establishing a record of integrity and outstanding performance. We will vigorously defend our reputation against any one or any company attempting to denigrate our good name.

Click below to read Chicago Tribune stories:
"Blagojevich has 2nd about-face; He warns ad agency on lottery contract
"Lottery blindly paid for ads
Agency gave no proof that commercials ran"

Missouri Tourism debuts African-American ad campaign from FUSE Advertising

(May 9, 2005) The Missouri Division of Tourism has tapped FUSE Advertising of St. Louis to produce a new advertising campaign designed to promote Missouri as a getaway solution for African Americans across the country.

The groundbreaking advertising campaign, produced by FUSE, was launched nationally last week with radio, TV and print and online at http://www.whatuneedmo.com. Using the tagline "Missouri – Giving you what you need," the campaign differs from other states' tourism marketing in that it places its emphasis on the needs of busy individuals and families rather than on one particular tourist activity.

"When we designed this campaign, the research uncovered the consumer planning process used for vacations and getaways," said Clifford Franklin, president of FUSE Advertising.  "Most people are very busy and don't think in terms of ‘I want to play golf' or ‘I want to hear jazz music.'  But that is what you see if you look at how other states market themselves to African American consumers."

"People are far more likely to think in terms of ‘I want to clear my head' or ‘I really need to recharge my battery.' But for a lot of people who are working long hours, dealing with kids, the house, and everything else, finding time to plan a getaway is almost impossible, explained John Robinson, director for the Missouri Division of Tourism. 

"So rather than just promoting Missouri as a location where you can do one thing or the other and then leaving it to consumers to decide if that one thing is what they want, we are promoting Missouri as a getaway solution -- a place that gives you what you need, whether it is to clear your head or to get a change of pace, and the ability to do it when you want, be it three months from now or on the spur of the moment."

The focal point of the campaign is the innovative web site www.whatuneedmo.com, which features the Missouri "planogram," a tool that contains pre-planned itineraries tailored for the African American traveler as well as the ability to plan customized trips.

"We wanted to create something that would provide the busy person with a getaway solution," said Robinson. "The ‘planogram' breaks it all down for people so all they have to do is enter some simple information and start packing their bags."

General Motors launches new Denali spot created by Carol H. Williams ad agency

(May 6, 2005) The GMC division of General Motors Corporation announced today the details of new advertising plans featuring the recently launched Envoy Denali that target specific consumers in diverse markets.  A new, original television advertisement targeted at African American consumers is set to launch on May 7, with the first peek at GMC's largest ever Spanish language campaign aimed at the Hispanic market breaking on May 12.

"We aren't simply translating our general market ads into Spanish or using one ad or campaign in an attempt to market to everyone.  GMC is committed to speaking to consumers in a culturally relevant fashion through in-language and in-culture communications," said Steve Rosenblum, GMC marketing director. "The creation of these new, original campaigns emphasize this dedication and will greatly assist with generating sales for these important new Envoy Denali models."

The Envoy Denali continues GMC's trend of continuous refinement with premium styling appointments including the signature chrome-plated Denali honeycomb grille, body-color side moldings, body-color outside mirrors (heated and with integrated turn signal indicator), and polished forged aluminum 17- inch wheels.  Nuance leather seats immediately signal the accommodating environments of the Envoy Denali while selective use of satin nickel and burl wood grain accents also complement the upscale passenger compartment.

"The Denali name has become synonymous with style, luxury and performance," said Rosenblum, "while providing the capability you'd expect from a GMC." GMC has achieved sales records for the past 11 out of 12 years and is continuing to conquest new buyers, including Hispanics and African Americans.

Actor and musician Mos Def, will appear in a new African American targeted commercial created by the Oakland-based Carol H. Williams Advertising agency.

The spot dubbed "Poetry in Motion," shows Mos Def and the Envoy Denali sharing the same space on screen with visual special effects bringing parts of the vehicle together to form the new product.  Mos Def's poetry underscores the spot with product attributes interspersed within his lines.  In November 2004, a Yukon Denali advertisement titled "Reflections" featured Mos Def's song "Climb" from the 2002 release Black on Both Sides.

"This spot is aimed to reach African American consumers through more general market broadcasting placements," said Rosenblum. The new commercial is scheduled to begin airing nationally on networks and programming including ABC, ESPN, UPN and BET.

"We set out to encapsulate the unique qualities of the Denali line of SUVs in this creative execution," said Raymond Clemons, Vice President and Creative Director for Carol H. Williams Advertising.  "We used some special effects to build on the confident style and ability the Envoy Denali has.  Mos Def further defines those parallel qualities of understated ability and style through his talent and achievements."

American Airlines unveils new black consumer campaign from GlobalHue

(May 6, 2005) American Airlines has launched a new advertising campaign to reach African-American customers.  The multimedia campaign, created by the GlobalHue ad agency, is an extension of the popular "We Know Why You Fly" campaign that began in September of 2004.

"The Invitation" campaign consists of three national magazine ads that will run May through December, encouraging African-Americans to fly American and American Eagle.  The ads use lifestyle snapshots of everyday events that connect with family, friends and associates.

"'The Invitation' is exactly what it says," said Rob Britton, Managing Director of Brand Development and Advertising for American.  "We want our customers to know we value them, we're listening to them and we want to welcome them on board."

"All three ads are warm and positive, saying we know why you fly and we invite you to fly with us," said Allen Pugh, Executive Vice President and Director of Client Services, GlobalHue.

"Family Dinner" brings together family members from cities around the country to relax and remember how good food and good times lead to "Big laughs; Big family traditions; One big piece of pound cake."  The ad underscores that American's wide network – including new routes from New York to Atlanta and Charlotte – makes it easy for families to continue their traditions of gathering in the city most convenient for them.

"Leadership Summit" appeals to the career-minded woman whose travels take her dreams to new heights and opens up myriad opportunities to make "New friends; New dreams; New possibilities."

"To the Favorite Fishing Hole" depicts three generations of men who are sharing a family tradition that will bond them forever while creating "Moments to cherish; Wisdom to share; Bass to catch."

The ads will run in American Legacy, Black Enterprise, Ebony, Essence, Jet, Odyssey Couleur and The Green. In addition to national magazine ads, interactive media, radio and television spots are planned for release later this year.

Click here to view the "Family Dinner," "Leadership  Summit," or "Favorite Fishing Hole" ads in PDF format

Auditor's report of Illinois Lottery ad account finds need for improved monitoring

Robert J. DaleBy Maura Kelly Lannan

(May 4, 2005 - Associated Press) A state audit released Wednesday says the Department of Revenue needs to improve its monitoring of a $19 million Lottery advertising contract with a company that submitted bills lacking detail and is under review to determine if it misspent funds.

Auditor General William Holland found that the department paid estimated bills submitted by R.J. Dale Advertising & Public Relations, but the company's actual invoices sent later lacked adequate details.

Holland found that 13 invoices totaling $2.1 million did not have the appropriate supporting documentation. He also found that R.J. Dale did not submit a detailed analysis at the end of the year so the Department of Revenue could compare the estimated bills paid with actual amounts incurred.

The audit recommended that the department seek reimbursement from R.J. Dale for bill payments that did not have supporting documentation.

In its response, the department said it has hired a forensic accountant to review payments R.J. Dale made to its vendors from Sept. 1, 2003, through Nov. 30, 2004. Clifton Gunderson LLP will compare when the Lottery paid R.J. Dale and when and how much R.J. Dale paid its vendors.

A report is expected this month, department spokesman Geraldine Conrad said.

R.J. Dale was hired in September 2003 to focus on the Lottery's public relations with the African-American market, Conrad said. That contract was expanded to general marketing in January 2004, when the Lottery's general marketing firm, DDB Needham/Chicago, ended its contract, Conrad said.

R.J. Dale was awarded a two-year general marketing contract in June 2004, Conrad said. Each year of the contract is for $19 million.

"The Department of Revenue became aware of some documentation problems last summer," Conrad said. "In order to protect the state's money, we instigated some tightened procedures."

The department hired the forensic accountant "to confirm that documentation is in place for all state money spent," Conrad said. She said there were questions about documentation, but refused to give details.

R.J. Dale representatives did not return calls for comment.

The audit also found that the Lottery received more than 1,000 items donated from broadcasting stations from which the Lottery bought advertising. The items in the "prize closet," which began around 1989 and included gift certificates to restaurants and video game systems, were given as incentives "to create excitement and rewards within the Lottery's team of dedicated employees," the audit said.

Conrad said the department has stopped the practice of soliciting or receiving items from broadcasters for the prize closet.
Click here for summary of Auditor General's report

BET's new ad campaign uses sass and laughs to highlight primetime lineup

(May 2, 2005) BET is promoting its primetime lineup with a series of spots that sensuous, seductive and humorous reminders that the channel is carrying "Girlfriends," "The Parkers" and "Soul Food."

In the ads, a romantic mood is set in a bedroom with satin sheets, ambient lighting and playful music. But this seductive aura is given a comedic spin by the shows' stars as each actor hams it up for the camera with exaggerated gestures and expressions.

Tracee Ellis Ross and Reggie Hayes from "Girlfriends,"  Mo'Nique (above), Countess Vaughn and Dorien Wilson from "The Parkers;" and Vanessa Williams and Darrin Henson of "Soul Food" are featured frolicking on the bed and flirting with the camera.  Each segment ends with a playful one-liner such as, "I will make you laugh," or "I will make you love me," with flirtatious innuendos but comical delivery.

"Popular lingerie brands have set the standard for high-glam, provocative television advertising," said Kelli Lawson, BET Executive Vice President of Marketing. "In this series of spots, our humorous, over-the-top take on those popular campaigns highlights the comedic appeal of our primetime lineup while drawing upon the sexy edge that makes each series exciting."

"We worked with WGH Films in Los Angeles on execution of Prime 'Sexy' Time," added Ola Kudu, BET Vice President of Creative Services. "Their production approach encouraged each actor to really have fun and showcase their individual personalities. The end result is an eye-catching, charismatic campaign with just the right balance of sensuality and humor."

A 60-second version promoting all three programs in the primetime lineup premiere this week on BET. Additional 15 and 30 -second show-specific versions of the new ads will also run in rotation on the network well into the spring, leading up to even more ground-breaking changes coming in 2005 as BET marks its 25th anniversary.

GlobalWorks agency named to handle Cablevision account

(April 12, 2005) GlobalWorks Group today announced that it has been retained by Cablevision Systems Corp. to enhance the company's multicultural advertising initiatives, with an initial focus on Hispanic and African-American consumers. Billings for the account were not disclosed.  

The agency will create broadcast, print, direct and out-of-home advertising for Cablevision's groundbreaking digital services: iO (Interactive Optimum) digital cable, Optimum Online high-speed Internet and Optimum Voice, according to GlobalWorks CEO Yuri Radzievsky. Online media, he said, will be a part of the mix. The new creative is expected in the second quarter of this year.

The effort will initially target Hispanic and African-American markets, as well as other important emerging markets. Some 35 percent of Cablevision's 4.4 million homes passed are estimated to be Hispanic or African-American.

"Apart from the agency's clear creative and strategic capabilities, we were drawn especially to GlobalWorks Group's ability to create advertising and marketing initiatives that successfully focus on a broad spectrum of multicultural consumers," said Jonathan Hargis, Cablevision's senior vice president of marketing and advertising. 

The New York-based GlobalWorks is an independently-owned multicultural branding and advertising agency started in 2000 by Yuri Radzievsky, who merged his firm with the Liquid Digital agency. Among the clients on the agency's roster are  Ortho McNeil, Avaya, Lucent, Johnson & Johnson, Hughes Network Systems, and Ernst and Young. For more information, visit www.globalworks.com.

Beaman Inc. wins advertising and PR account for Illinois Tourism

(April 1, 2005) Chicago-based Beaman Inc. has been selected by the Illinois Bureau of Tourism to handle African-American advertising and public relations. The agency is a subcontracting under JWT Advertising.

Beaman Inc., headed by Robin Beamon (above), is one of three firms creating campaigns to reach out to tourists in niche markets. Other agencies will target Hispanics and the gay market.

Under the theme, "The Soul of Illinois," Beaman will develop print and radio advertising to be placed in black-targeted media in collar states including Missouri, Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana. The PR effort will target 15 states with the potential to reach likely black tourists.

The agency will also develop a Web site to highlight state-wide attractions and events of interest to African-Americans. 

Beaman is celebrating its ninth anniversary this year. Its current roster includes the Illinois Department of Health and the national Association of Black Accountants.

Muse Communications pitch for Big Headed Boxers may air on reality TV show

(April 1, 2005) Muse Communications, America's first multicultural marketing communications agency has won the Big Headed Boxers account after a six-month review, according to Jo Muse, chairman of Muse.
"The pitch for the Big Headed account was one of our best. In addition to an exciting approach to research, event promotion, and print advertising our recommendations focused on ideas that were in search of the right media opportunities," Muse said. "In the end I think the client was most excited about our internet solutions and provocative print campaign, " he added.
Big Headed Boxers is a high fashion celebrity-driven undergarment manufacturer located in San Diego, CA. The most recent ad campaign was a national print effort in men's publications like Maxim, Penthouse and Playboy. In a provocative marketing twist Muse says the new business process from the first client meeting until the actual winning presentation and award of the business was video taped and is being shopped in Hollywood as a possible reality show, called "The Pitch".
Muse clients include the U.S. Army, American Honda, Wells Fargo Bank and the MGM MIRAGE.

Greyhound launches new radio spots featuring Wanda Sykes

(March 23, 2005) As part of its strategy to reach out to the African-American market, Greyhound Lines, Inc. has announced it has launched a new nationwide radio campaign featuring the voice comedian Wanda Sykes. The ads were created by Dallas-based agency The Richards Group.

The theme of the commercials focuses on issues faced by the public. For example, in one of the spots, Sykes uses humor to talk about high gas prices. She then praises Greyhound for providing quick, comfortable and convenient service at a fraction of what it costs at the gas pump.

The voice of comedian Adal Ramones is featured in spots for Greyhounds Hispanic campaign.

"The messages in each of the ads reflect what type of experience customers want when traveling Greyhound: fast, enjoyable and cool," said Toby Purdy, senior vice president of marketing, Greyhound Lines, Inc. "The voices are recognizable and relevant to our target consumers. These ads are one of the first steps the company is taking to change how customers perceive the brand."

Greyhound is the largest North American provider of intercity bus transportation, serving more than 3,300 destinations with 17,000 daily departures across the continent. 

DNC launches Social Security ads aimed at  African American community

(March 15, 2005) The Democratic National Committee (DNC) launched radio spots last week on black-oriented stations highlighting their position on President Bush's plans to privatize Social Security. The ads are a part of a campaign from Democrats to reach African Americans regarding Social Security.

The 60-second radio spots, called "Community," emphasize the importance of Social Security to African Americans as well as the risk, planned benefit cuts and trillions in new deficit spending the Bush plan would require.

The DNC ran Social Security ads in African American newspapers across the country in February and the Senate Democrats and the Congressional Black Caucus have released reports outlining the devastating effects of Bush's plan on the African American community.

"President Bush and Washington Republicans are trying to dismantle a program that keeps millions of African American seniors out of poverty and provides survivor benefits to millions of African American children," said Gov. Howard Dean, Chairman of the DNC. "The DNC is committed to informing the African American community about this risky Social Security plan that cuts guaranteed benefits and puts our children and grandchildren permanently in debt."

Clear Channel Outdoor debuts initiative to leverage black, Hispanic market presence

(March 14, 2005) Clear Channel Outdoor is leveraging the company's presence in the nation's largest African American and Hispanic markets by launching a Multicultural Sales and Marketing Initiative. Leading this effort are outdoor advertising veterans Tony Dailey Vice President of Multicultural Sales and Marketing and Pedro (Peter) A. Milian Jr., who is Vice President Hispanic Sales and Marketing.

"Outdoor advertising is one of the strongest media formats advertisers can use to target the fast-growing Hispanic and African American population," said Rocky Sisson, the company's Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Clear Channel Outdoor. "All Americans are spending more time out-of-home every day and the combination of radio and outdoor advertising is a proven and effective way to reach them as in-home-media continues to fragment. "

Clear Channel Outdoor offers advertising products and services in nine of the top 10 largest African American and Hispanic markets. African Americans, with a population of over 34 million make up 30% of the total U.S. population and are projected to grow at twice the rate of the rest of the population in the next 50 years.

Tony Dailey added, "The continuing growth and influence of the African American market creates opportunities for savvy marketers. Outdoor advertising works and we are providing a compelling value proposition to advertisers who wish to reach this important segment."

Dailey has held various positions in the company for the past 13 years. Based in Chicago, Illinois, Dailey has significantly expanded the company's African American marketing and sales in this market over the past few years. Clear Channel Outdoor, based in Phoenix, AZ, operates over 155,000 advertising display faces in 42 U.S. markets, three South American countries, Mexico and Canada.

Duffey Communications sold to management team; Nicole Taylor named president

(March 1, 2005) Atlanta-based Duffey Communications' founders, Lee and Jenny N. Duffey, announced the sale of their venerable public relations and marketing firm to the company's existing management team. Nichole D. Taylor has been named president of the 20 year-old agency. 

Taylor, 36, who attended Florida A & M, formerly worked at Ketchum and Matlock Advertising & Public Relations, bringing 13 years of consumer brand and multi-cultural marketing to the leadership team. As president, Taylor will oversee all client relations and account service activities

The new management team will maintain the Duffey Communications name and brand identity. Ranked by Forbes magazine as one of the nation's Top Business Marketing Firms, Duffey Communications is one of the largest privately-held firms in the nation and ranked among the nation's top 35 firms, amassing more than 450 national and international awards for its work.

Black advertising agencies form trade association to assert their strengths

(Feb. 21, 2005) Some of the nation's leading African-American advertising agencies have formed a new association to represent their interests and advocate for their continued growth. The Association of Black-Owned Advertising Agencies, Inc. (ABAA) was founded by ten agencies and marketing communications companies following meetings late last year. The new group is incorporated in the state of Illinois, and its interim chairman is Eugene Morris, chairman and CEO of Chicago-based E. Morris Communications, Inc.

"The formation of the ABAA was long overdue," said Morris. "For more than 40 years, the African-American market has been the number one ethnic market in America. With the growing importance of these consumers, we need to find ways to collectively use our expertise and address critical issues facing both the market and our agencies."

Black-owned ad agencies and marketing communications firms have annual billings of more than $1 billion dollars.  They represent clients from Fortune 100 corporations, to major local companies, to leading not-for-profit organizations, and have built the foundation and principles for successful segmented marketing for the entire industry.

"We have launched the association with agencies representing all the geographical areas of the nation," said Morris. "We look forward to building a membership that is truly representative of all black-owned agencies, of all sizes, wherever they may be based."

The founding members of the ABAA are:

Anderson Communications of Atlanta; E. Morris Communications of Chicago; Equals Three Communications of Bethseda, MD; Fuse Advertising of St. Louis; Lattimer Moffitt Communications of Atlanta; Matlock Advertising & Public Relations of Atlanta; Muse Communications of Los Angeles; Prime Access of New York, NY; R.J. Dale Advertising & Public Relations of Chicago; and SWG&M Advertising of El Paso, TX

According to its by-laws, ABAA's mission is:

- To advocate for the interests of African-American-owned advertising agencies and marketing communications firms.

- To maintain relations with governmental, industry, consumer and other organizations on matters affecting advertising and marketing communications.

- To engage in, and encourage the development of research that increases the understanding of African-American consumers, their relationship to the marketplace, and the role of advertising and marketing in guiding consumers' decisions.

- To advise and maintain good relations with associations representing advertisers, media, suppliers and consumers, and with other associations and industries concerned with or related to advertising or marketing communications.

- To establish opportunities for African-American students who desire to enter the advertising profession and related fields of marketing communications through scholarships, internships and mentoring programs.

For further membership information about the ABAA, contact Jetta Bates at 312-943-7675. 

Nielsen launches ad campaign to emphasize ratings' role with ethnic audiences

(Feb. 2, 2005) Nielsen Media Research will launch a branding advertising campaign this month to heighten awareness about what Nielsen is and how its TV reports accurately reflect the viewing habits of all different kinds of people.

The campaign will focus on key media outlets in the Metropolitan Detroit area, along with other media markets across the country.

The campaign was created by Burrell, Nielsen's African-American ad agency of record. It includes print, radio, online and cinema advertising, targeting Asian, African-American, Arabic, and Hispanic consumers and opinion leaders. The informational advertising campaign is also designed to inform multicultural audiences about Nielsen's role in television ratings.

As part of the campaign, Nielsen will roll out print ads featuring the faces of adults of various ages and ethnicities merged together, to illustrate the company's inclusive research methods. The print ad copy is translated in Chinese, Spanish and English for respective audiences and will run in ethnic weeklies in and national publications that reach ethnic opinion leaders.  The radio ads will run on top-rated African American and Hispanic (Spanish and English language) stations. The campaign also includes on-screen advertising in multicultural movie theaters.

"The success of our research depends upon our ability to accurately measure and represent all TV viewers, so we strive to make sure that every ethnic group is included in the TV ratings," said Nielsen Media Research President and CEO Susan D. Whiting. "We spent a great deal of time meeting with and listening to communities from around the country in 2004. We valued the input. While we've been actively working with various ethnic groups to ensure that our measurements fully and fairly represent all television viewers, we felt we could do more to inform people about what we do. The advertising campaign will be initiated in conjunction with our ongoing community outreach initiatives."

Illinois agency audits R.J. Dale Advertising one day before it begins lottery ad contract

Robert J. Dale(Jan. 31, 2005) Just one day before R.J. Dale Advertising was to begin its contract to handle the general market advertising assignment for the Illinois Lottery, the Illinois Dept. of Revenue, which oversees the lottery, asked an accounting firm to perform a forensic audit of the ad agency, according to a story in the Chicago Defender.

R.J. Dale, one of the nation's leading black-owned ad agencies, has worked with the Illinois Lottery since September 2003 and has been awarded two contracts during that time. Most recently the agency was awarded the general market advertising account which is valued at $19 million annually (See June 14, 2004 story below).

Robert Dale, owner of R.J. Dale, told the Chicago Defender that he believes the audit is an effort to "discredit" his firm, and is the after effects of a bruising battle between Dale and 12 other firms to land the lucrative contract, which included charges of favoritism by the lottery's superintendent, Carolyn Adams, who is African American.

The selection of R.J. Dale -- the 14th ranked company on Black Enterprise's list of top advertising agencies with $27 million in billings -- made it the first black advertising firm to ever receive a general market account for the Illinois lottery. Previously, it was a subcontractor.

"I think there are some competitors and their supporters who believe the status quo should remain in place," Dale said. "This is just a reaction to things now being different."

Cheryle Jackson, communications director for Gov. Rod Blagojevich, told the Defender that the governor is pleased with the work of R.J. Dale and said he has no reason to believe that Dale has done anything wrong.

Dale told Target Market News that his agency has been audited and investigated three times by the Illinois Auditor General's office, the Inspector General's office and the Illinois Department of Revenue. "A fourth audit is unnecessary," he said.
Click here to read entire Chicago Defender story

Muse Cordero Chen & Partners highlights agency's uniqueness with new name

(Jan 26, 2005) Muse Cordero Chen & Partners Inc., one of America's premier multicultural advertising agencies, has changed its name to Muse Communications Inc. The new name better reflects the company's unique style and dedication to marketing communication problem solving. Muse Communications continues to develop creative strategies and messages designed to propel consumers into action.

"Our multicultural heritage remains a vital force in all our work," explains company Chairman and Executive Creative Director J. Melvin Muse. "Going well beyond the 30-second spot," he adds, "is what Muse Communications is all about."

According to Muse, Muse Communications Inc.'s marketing and communications solutions include web-based content, sales promotion, direct mail, branding, event planning and execution, public relations and media buying and planning for primarily African-American, Hispanic and Asian American consumers. The 20-year old agency uses strategic tools to produce illuminating insights into customer attitudes in order to impact purchase behavior beyond race and ethnicity.

"Our focus on the commonalities between ethnic consumers has led to a unique approach that solves client problems and reaches all consumers," says Chairman Muse. "What is multicultural today will be the general market tomorrow. We continue to exceed client expectations."

Muse Communications Inc., has been first in multicultural advertising since 1985, and now assumes the post of the first multicultural marketing communications agency. The next innovation being planned will be an alliance of independent minority-owned companies to provide integrated marketing communications solutions tailored to the advertising holding company model.

Marriott International expands Burrell's role as its multicultural ad agency

(Jan. 20, 2005) Marriott International, Inc. has expanded its contract with Burrell, one of the nation's largest African American-owned full-service communications agencies. Burrell will continue to provide consulting, marketing, and comprehensive planning and delivery of programs that provide visibility for Marriott's diversity initiatives.

The agency will also play an integral role in outreach communication to minority travelers. Last year, Burrell helped Marriott promote several of its diversity initiatives, accomplishments and marketing initiatives. This year, the company says Burrell will enlarge its scope to include expanding awareness of the company's multicultural supplier and franchise relations efforts.

"Our relationship with Burrell is consistent with our commitment to diversity," said Dave Sampson, Marriott senior vice president of diversity initiatives. "Burrell will intensify efforts to communicate Marriott's brand messaging to that expanding diverse audience."

Burrell delivers advertising, marketing support, event promotions and planning, community relations, public relations, crisis management, media relations and other communications programs and services to its clients.

Among the diversity successes and marketing initiatives that Marriott credits Burrell with the NAACP's recognition of Marriott as the top lodging company on its industry report card for the sixth year.

 The 13th Annual Edition 
Buying Power report shows more spending by black consumers on 'necessities'

Thanks to economic gains in the past two years, black households across the U.S., especially middle-class families, are increasing their purchases of lifestyle and leisure items.

According to the newest edition of "The Buying Power of Black America," there are indications that black households are feeling more confident about making purchases that...

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