Obama Aside, Marketers Still Bypass Blacks

$913B in buying power goes relatively ignored by Madison Ave.
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2009 4:07 PM CST
McDonald's has found success by investing in the African-American market.   (AP Photo/John Zich)
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(Newser) – Many of the advertising folks who named Barack Obama Marketer of the Year have cut spending directed at African-Americans, whose buying power is nearly $1 trillion, Marissa Miley writes in Advertising Age. “Why people continue to question this customer segment continues to baffle me,” says one author. “The proof is there.” Marketers instead have focused on the burgeoning Latino sector.

Insiders argue that targeting a specific English-speaking demographic is too expensive. One says blacks favor some brands precisely because their mainstream marketing makes them seem aspirational. Companies like McDonald’s embrace “niche” marketing, and with black buying power expected to hit $1.2 trillion in 2013, one exec wonders, “Why is it an issue when you say that black people are a niche?”