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Target Market News has introduced Black Business Chicago, a new monthly which will spotlight news and features on Chicago's African-American businesses, corporate executives and local economic issues. The publication will also be supplemented by a Web site, blackbusinesschicago.com, that will provide updated coverage of relevant business news on a daily and weekly basis between issues of the monthly print publication. Click for more ____________________________________

Buying Power report: Blacks spend as economy grows
New 16th edition shows $507 bil in spending



The finding comes from the 16th annual edition of "The Buying Power of Black America" report. In 2009, black households spent an estimated $507 billion in 27 product and services categories. ...

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Muse agency criticizes ad industry on diversity in spot during 'The Pitch'

(May 26, 2012) When Muse Communications was chosen as the only agency of color to participate in the new AMC cable reality show, "The Pitch," they decided to make the most of the moment. The show, which follows the popular ad agency drama, "Mad Men," hasn't done all that well in the ratings, but it has gained a following among ad industry types. Muse produced a commercial that would ran during the May 27th episode in which they competed against the Bozell agency for an assignment from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

The 30-second spot criticizes the advertising industry -- and by extension, its clients -- for not doing more to make diversity a reality. The commercial features a young, African American woman on a set of infinite white space full of office chairs. "Advertising, it's a drama...it's reality TV, it makes for a cool show. Well, let's rewind those shows. See any people like me, with chairs at the big table with the power players? Not many. "

 


As she moves through the space, she begins pushing the chairs out of the frame, one by one, and continues. "They say it's because they can't find us, but they can find us when they want our money. You say that you want diversity and that you want to do more." Finally with only three chairs left on the set, she take a seat in one and says, "And we say to you, advertising should not have this much white space."

"The message is pointed, sharp and focused," stated Jo Muse, chairman and chief creative officer of Muse Communications in a press release. "The rate of hiring and retention of people of color has always been dismal in the advertising industry. It's time the public felt the outrage of these people who, even now, can't find a job in this business, much less move up to the executive ranks."

In a press release that the agency issued in the week prior to its appearance on "The Pitch," it said it hopes to spark a conversation among consumers and industry executives alike. Industry trades and blogs picked up the story and ensured the spot was seen beyond the show's audience.

"It is time for the industry to embrace change and look more like the general population," stated Muse. "I strongly believe that women agency executives will be critical to improving industry diversity. Currently, women account for 65-70 percent of all talent in the business. With more female leadership, they will shape the new face of advertising."

The "White Space" commercial can be seen on YouTube or at MuseUSA.com.



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