Study: Many blacks
boycott sponsors when offended by programming (July
16, 2007) A new NiaPulse research report indicates that racial stereotypes
and language in media programming or content have had a direct negative
impact on the buying habits of most black consumers.
"Over half of those surveyed said they have boycotted a product to let a
company know that a show it sponsored was offensive," said Cheryl Mayberry
McKissack, who is president and CEO of Nia Enterprises, LLC in Chicago.
"Sponsors of programming or content using controversial racial stereotypes
and language are taking a real risk with black consumers -- especially
those consumers who are middle class or affluent. The higher the income,
the more likely they are to view racially offensive images or words in the
media--such as those uttered by Don Imus--as reflecting upon the
Results from "Controversial Talk and the Black Consumer" study were
unveiled by Mayberry McKissack at the Black Consumer Research and
Advertising Summit in Chicago on July 3. Based on a June 2007 NiaPulse
survey of 606 black men and women, it is the first study of its kind to
explore how controversial racial stereotypes and language affect black
consumers' buying habits.
Among other questions, survey participants were asked how they felt about
companies that sponsor programming using variations of the n-word or the
word "nappy." Seventy-one percent said such programming affects their
opinion of sponsors in a negative way; 25% said it doesn't affect their
opinion; and the rest said it affects their opinion in a positive way.
Boycotting is the most popular method used by blacks to let a company know
that a show it sponsors is offensive to them. "Rather than voice their
opinions, they are more likely to simply stop buying or watching,"
explained Mayberry McKissack. Fifty-nine percent of respondents said they
had boycotted a show and 56% said they had boycotted a company's products.
Higher-income respondents were more likely to report boycotting a product.
Fifty-nine percent of respondents with annual incomes of $25,000 and above
said they have boycotted a product, compared with 38% of respondents with
incomes under $25,000 a year.
Forty-six percent of respondents said they had reacted to offensive
programming by signing a petition; 33% said they had written a letter of
complaint; and 18% said they had joined in a public protest. "Of course,
we've always encouraged consumers to also let companies know what they
think by writing, emailing, or calling," said Mayberry McKissack.
Another reason that black consumers stop buying a company's products is
because they have heard of a racial discrimination complaint against it.
Fifty-five percent said they had stopped buying a product because of a
racial discrimination against, and among the companies cited were Denny's,
Cracker Barrel, and Tommy Hilfiger (which was subject to an unfounded
Internet rumor about discriminatory remarks by its founder). "Companies in
this position should pay close attention to the messages they are sending
black consumers," said Mayberry McKissack.
Results of the "Controversial Talk" survey were based on responses by 305
black women and 301 black men. The survey was conducted by the NiaPulse
research service (www.niapulse.com), which includes an online panel
reaching over 175,000 multicultural household members.
For more information on survey results or how to obtain a custom
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_________________________________________________________________________________________ 13th Edition Now Available
New Buying Power report shows more spending by black consumers on
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... Story continued...
ATTENTION BOOK CLUBS
AND BOOK LOVERS!
Black Issues Book Review
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Friday and Saturday, August 24 and 25, 2007, in downtown Chicago at the
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Hundreds of book club members will be engaged in dialogue with some of the
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in its eighth year of publication, Black Issues Book Review is
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