Panelists attending the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and Citizenship Education Fund’s 2008 Conference Monday said that black Americans wield about $800 billion in buying power, but that product manufacturers are not spending enough advertising dollars with the black press and African American advertising firms.
According to Hermene Hartman, publisher of N’Digo, a Chicago-based weekly newspaper, the average black household spends $30.41 on men’s suits, while the average white household spends only $25.15.
Statistics indicate that black Americans spend 33 percent more on boys’ pants. They also shell out more for women’s hosiery and shoes. The average black American household spends $204.24 for women’s shoes, compared with $142.46 spent in white households. It was also noted that black Americans spend about $74 for girls’ footwear compared with less than $30 in white households, said Hartman, citing figures from Target Market News, a Chicago-based firm.
Hartman chided white advertisers who shun placing ads in black publications. “You can’t find a black magazine or newspaper advertising men’s suits, boys’ pants, women’s hosiery or girls’ shoes,” she pointed out.
Panelists urged black consumers to exercise their tremendous buying power by demanding that more money be spent on black media to avoid using products that are not advertised in the black press. They also urged attendees to call and write firms about advertising campaigns that offended them or that gained their approval.
Pepper Miller, president of The Hunter-Miller Group Inc., a market research and consulting firm, said that companies are paying close attention to the increasing Latino population and are focusing their advertising dollars on the Latino media markets.
“Black consumers are losing our value as a people despite that evidence of spending power,” she said.