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 Black Stats          
Frequently requested data on African American consumers

Black Buying Power:
  $719 Billion (2005)

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 $110.2 bil.
 - Food $53.8 bil.
 - Cars/Trucks $28.7 bil.
 - Clothing $22.0 bil.
 - Health Care $17.9 bil.

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Renetta McCann stepping down as Starcom MediaVest CEO

By Jim Kirk
Chicago Tribune
(June 10, 2008) One of the most powerful female executives in media and marketing is leaving her post, a move that surprised the advertising industry late Monday.

Renetta McCann, 51, global chief executive of Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest Group and one of the highest-ranking African-American women on the media scene, said she plans to step down immediately as CEO and take a one-year sabbatical from the firm beginning in January.

Replacing her is Laura Desmond, 43, currently CEO of the Americas division and a 20-year veteran of the media firm.

McCann, a 30-year veteran of the firm who started in Leo Burnett's media department before it became Starcom and climbed the ranks to become Starcom CEO in 2005, was integral in the formation of Starcom as it grew into one of the largest media-buying firms in the world.

She cited unspecified family matters among her reasons for leaving the post.

"I have been given the opportunity to build an incredible organization during a decade of management responsibility, but I now recognize that some family matters and personal goals have unfortunately taken a back seat during this time," she said in a statement. "I would like to give them my full attention now."

In an industry known for its lack of female top executives, McCann emerged as one of its more outspoken leaders. She championed the splitting off of media buying as a separate entity while under her boss, Publicis Groupe Media Chairman Jack Klues, during a time of tremendous change at Leo Burnett and in the media and advertising industry in general in the late 1990s. She also helped guide the transition of Starcom after it merged with MediaVest in 2000.

Combined, the operation grew into a $29 billion buying and marketing behemoth, wielding substantial negotiating clout with a client list that includes Kraft Foods, General Motors and Procter & Gamble.

"She has earned the opportunity to step back from the global role and reassess the contributions she wants to make moving forward, and we look forward to benefiting from the perspective this sabbatical affords her," Klues said.

Like McCann, Desmond rose through the ranks of Leo Burnett's media department and Starcom. She managed the agency's 2,000 staff members as CEO of the Americas and was behind the launch of SMG Multicultural, an agency targeting minority media. More recently, Desmond led the agency's push in search marketing.

-----------

Below is the full text of the press release issued by SMVG on McCann's departure:

Renetta McCann Announces Sabbatical From Marketing Industry
6/9/2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Laura Desmond to Assume Role of CEO, Starcom MediaVest Group Worldwide

CHICAGO; Renetta McCann, global CEO of Starcom MediaVest Group, today announced plans to take a one-year sabbatical from the company and the marketing communications industry. Her leave will take effect January 1, 2009. She will vacate the global CEO role immediately, and Laura Desmond, currently CEO of SMG/The Americas, will assume the global title.

"I have been given the opportunity to build an incredible organization during a decade of management responsibility, but I now recognize that some family matters and personal goals have unfortunately taken a back seat during this time. I would like to give them my full attention now," said McCann. "While the family matters are private, one of my personal goals is to uncover some new ways of thinking about talent/opportunity alignment, specifically which triggers, emotions, and assignments can more quickly propel the right people into the best roles.

"Jack Klues and I have agreed that a sabbatical will allow me the best of both worlds," she added. "I can contribute more energy to the things that matter in my personal life while still having the option to bring fresh eyes and perspective back to a Company and an industry that has meant a lot to me over the last three decades. In the next six months, I will apply myself as needed to transition Laura to her new role, and I will take on some talent-related projects at the Groupe level."

McCann assumed the role of global CEO for SMG in 2005, at which time she served as CEO of SMG/The Americas. Her tenure has been punctuated by advancements and accolades.

"It is impossible to summarize the contributions Renetta continues to make to our business and to the industry at large," said Jack Klues, chairman of Publicis Groupe Media. "She has earned the opportunity to step back from the global role and reassess the contributions she wants to make moving forward, and we look forward to benefiting from the perspective this sabbatical affords her."

Laura Desmond Elevated
Effective immediately, Laura Desmond will assume McCann's duties as CEO, Starcom MediaVest Group Worldwide. Desmond has been a part of the SMG organization for more than 20 years, and has served as CEO/The Americas since 2006.

"My ability to step away from the global CEO role is facilitated by Laura's role in our network," said McCann. "Succession can be a challenging proposition, but our network and clients are fortunate that Laura can step into this role with what will be an imperceptible learning curve. Not only is she a remarkable builder and activator who has helped grow some of the world's most powerful clients, she also shares my passion for people. Much of the work we achieved on diversity has been propelled by her energy and determination. What's more, she is also aggressively pursuing an ‘Agency of the Future' model for SMG, and in her new role she will be in a great position to push that initiative across the network."

One of the youngest CEOs to lead a marketing services company, Desmond managed nearly 2,000 marketing professionals in the communication industry's most robust and active geographical territory as CEO/The Americas. In that role, she orchestrated the launch of SMG Multicultural in 2007, building on the success of Tapestry, and extending SMG's multicultural footprint by launching 42 Degrees at MediaVest. She has also pushed aggressively for stronger digital capabilities across SMG, infusing talent, tools and skillsets into the organization.

Another of her focus areas is Search Marketing, and on her watch the network's Search offering has grown to be a leading agency partner to the pure play portals and a pioneer in Search optimization tools and processes. Within the past year, Desmond has also launched Pixel, a content and experience creation company in the digital space; and SMG Performance Marketing, a coalition of the agency's response-led units tasked with oversight and development of customer acquisition and retention expertise.

Among the awards received by SMG on Laura's watch are: Advertising Age and Media magazine 2006 Agency of the Year (Starcom USA), Mediaweek 2006 and 2007 Plan of the Year (MediaVest USA, Starcom USA and Tapestry), and a host of 2006 and 2007 EFFIES (MediaVest USA, Starcom USA, SMG United and GM Planworks), to name just a few.

"I was not expecting to fill the global CEO role at this point in my career," said Desmond. "But the fact that I am prepared to do it is a testament to Renetta McCann, to the remarkable talent that populates this network, and to the forward-thinking clients that have challenged and inspired me to constantly ‘up my game.' I have tremendously large shoes to fill without a doubt, but I also have powerful momentum to build on."

About Starcom MediaVest Group
Ranked one of the largest brand communications groups in the world, Starcom MediaVest Group (www.smvgroup.com) encompasses an integrated network of highly specialized consumer contact companies. SMG's global organization includes strategic marketing communication architects who are highly specialized in media management, response media, internet and digital communications, as well as multicultural, entertainment, sports sponsorship and event marketing and media. With nearly 5,800 employees in 89 markets worldwide, SMG delivers brand-building results for many of the world's leading companies.


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