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From theGrio – In a historic show of unity, leading African-American media entities are uniting to bring awareness of black buying power to large advertisers and general audiences through the #INTHEBLACK campaign, which launches today. “We’re bringing together leading media and advertising enterprises that serve African-American communities to showcase ways black consumers are growing in market influence, and to provide companies with greater opportunities to meet the needs of this valuable community and grow their businesses,” Derek J. Murphy, general manager, Multicultural, of AOL Huffington Post Media Group, told theGrio about this groundbreaking endeavor.

The #INTHEBLACK campaign will highlight the fact that African-American spending reached a massive $957 billion dollars in 2010, and that blacks’ buying power is projected to reach $1.2 trillion by 2015. Noted trendsetters through their consumption, African Americans comprise only 12 percent of the U.S. population, yet consistently outspend all ethnic groups in several key categories, including electronics and entertainment.

Despite this, leaders in black media and advertising perceive that the robust nature of the black market has been overlooked, as has the necessity of targeting it through black media. #INTHEBLACK, which is backed by a massive group of firms ranging from Essence Communications to Black Enterprise, seeks to combat this misperception.

“The consortium will use its collective resources and strength to speak to the advertising community and consumer audience to raise awareness and create a sense of urgency around the economic opportunity the black consumer segment presents,” BET Networks, another notable partner, announced in a press release. “African-American media has the unique ability to reach the African-American consumer base directly and is an important resource in identifying and establishing trends within the black community. #INTHEBLACK aims to amplify the value of engaging African Americans through black targeted media and agencies.”

Companies in the #INTHEBLACK coalition believe that, by marketing through black advertising agencies to place ads with African-American media outlets, Fortune 500 companies can optimally reach the lucrative black market as it grows. By working together, these firms can send a stronger and more effective message about the power of black media than has been previously possible.

“The conversation surrounding adequate investment in the strong black consumer audience from advertisers and key stakeholders has been happening in the industry for years,” Debra Lee, chairman and CEO of BET Networks, told theGrio. “#INTHEBLACK brings together some of the nation’s most influential media and advertising companies, closest to the African-American audience, to develop a unified strategy to encourage increased expenditures in the African-American consumer marketplace. As a collective, we are better positioned to demonstrate the value of targeting the black consumer audience and partnering with leading brands to help them succeed.”

Organizations in this collective include TheGrio, BET Networks, HuffPost BlackVoices, Inner City Broadcasting Company, Steve Harvey Radio, The Root, The Africa Channel, UniWorld Group, Johnson Publishing Company and Vibe Media, among a total of 26 participating businesses.

Continue reading more about the #INTHEBLACK campaign at theGrio

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  • Questknowledge

    What’s the point if these businesses aren’t owned by black people?

    • We agree. Though we are apart of an ad network that is listed in the campaign. This is not going to help small and mid-size Black Owned web businesses like Clutch that would like to prosper on our own. This would continue to force us to be under a network (which most are not Black owned) and not grow OUR own by receiving the budgets we deserve to not only grow but be creative in the way we advertise to our audiences.

      The companies listed are mainly super powers online and have smaller sites with less resources under their belts – and the smaller business – don’t get half what they are worth while allowing them to sell their ad inventory – but these companies know that most of us can’t get an good ad budget on our own – and we need good budget not only to keep sites like Clutch running but help us offer more to our readers. It’s a cycle most of us are caught in.

    • Pat

      Instead of saying “if we can’t beat them, we’ll just join them”. Find the solution to your problem. Find loop holes and other ways to get around them. Drill holes in their structure. Find their weak spot and emphasis on it. What can you do, that they can’t? Etc. Black entrepreneurs need to unite for their own cause, struggles and the like. Start a campaign for black entrepreneurs to unite and not this garbage.

    • iThink

      This defeats the necessity of businesses being own by black people to generate self-wealth as well as communal wealth. Think further, i.e. similar to financing a home. Until that last note is paid, you’re not the owner, the financial institution is. Therefore, the rug may be pulled from under your feet at any time depending on your circumstances. It is always best to exist in a position of ownership. These companies are well aware of this. In the end, the black communities’ dollars are still being utilized, but not for our advancement thus back to square one.

  • Rue

    “African Americans comprise only 12 percent of the U.S. population, yet consistently outspend all ethnic groups”

    So that’s why Jessie and Al always call for boycotts?!

  • LonelyLou

    That is all well and good, but how about we spend that 957 billion in our own communities and we would not have to beg anyone to advertise with us!!!!!!! I am talking goods and services people!!! Look at the big picture.We have got to stop begging one day, make it today!!!!!