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data on African American consumers
Black Buying Power:
$679 Billion (2004)
Black U.S. Population:
Top Five Black Cities
- New York
Top Five Black Metros:
- New York-New Jersey
- Los Angeles
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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228 S. Wabash Ave.
Chicago, IL 60604
agencies sign diversity pacts with NY Human Rights Commission
By Wendy Melillo
(September 20, 2006) Four Omnicom Group shops yesterday signed binding
agreements with the New York City Human Rights Commission to increase the
number of minorities in their management ranks, thus avoiding the
potential embarrassment of their executives testifying before the
commission during the Advertising Week industry celebration in New York,
"I commend the CEOs of the agencies committing themselves to enhanced
equal opportunity programs that will yield lasting results, said Patricia
Gatling, who chairs the commission. "These 16 agreements will augment the
city's initiative to create a workforce reflective of our rich diversity."
Omnicom ad agencies BBDO, DDB, Merkley + Partners and media firm PHD were
the four remaining shops out of 16 subpoenaed by the commission in June.
The others reached accords with the commission earlier this month.
Omnicom had forged a separate agreement with the New York City Council,
which included paying $2.5 million over five years to promote diversity
programs [Adweek Online, Sept. 7].
One executive familiar with the commission negotiations had said the
Omnicom shops initially objected to establishing goals and sought to
resolve the issue via the separate agreement City Council. "What Omnicom's
move was about was to try to get around the commission. But they
overplayed their hand," the source said.
Asked why the four agencies ultimately signed, Omnicom representative Pat
Sloan said, "We never stopped talking to [the commission] and we've
decided to do both," i.e., sign the agreements and carry through with the
separate City Council initiative.
"Our agreements with both the City Council and the City Commission assure
a long-term commitment that we believe will be tangible and effective in
generating long-term solutions," said John Wren, Omnicom's chairman and
The agreements commit the agencies to establishing diversity-hiring goals
for minorities over a three-year period, which include advancing them to
Each year, the shops must report their progress in writing to the HRC.
Failure to meet the goals could result in further action.
Specifically, the goals include the promotion, retention and recruitment
of minorities and women, although the focus is on African Americans, to
professional and managerial positions, according to a copy of one of the
agreements. In return, the HRC has agreed not to bring any new action
against the agencies during the three-year period.
The issue of diversity among ad agency management (which first surfaced in
the 1960s) has been heating up at least since 1999, when the Federal
Communications Commission accused the industry of racism based on an
internal memo that encouraged media buyers to avoid urban and Latino radio
stations. The issue gathered steam in 2000 when President Clinton signed
an executive order requiring federal government agencies to award more
contracts to minority-owned businesses. But the order has fallen flat
under the Bush administration.
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'Buying Power' report shows black consumers spending more on home life
As the American economy continues to move sluggishly,
African-American households are curtailing their spending in many
categories, including food, clothing and basic household items, while
investing more in home repair, home entertainment and consumer
electronics. Although they are trimming back, black consumers are still
spending more than their white counterparts on most of these products.
Story and statistics
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