I’m sitting here working on my second cup of coffee and listening to the news.
In a couple of hours SCOTUS will issue their interpretation of the Affordable Care Act.
I could write about that, but I just don’t have the strength to ponder the demise or survival of a law that has had a positive life-changing impact on so many people I know. Add to that the fact that I spent serious political activism time working on that shit…well, let’s just say that the last thing this bitch wants to do is think about all that work going down the toilet and having to start from jump again.
The US House is fixin’ to vote along party lines to hold Attorney General Holder in contempt of Congress.
I could write about that…and I probably will, but I think I’ll wait for those assholes to officially shit the bed later today.
What to do…what to do?
I’m gonna write about “no urban (black)” and “no Hispanic” dictates!
Many moons ago, this bitch used to work in advertising.
Specifically, I used to sell ads on radio for a massive…huge…giant national radio group that went through more ownership changes than I care to remember.
I was very good at the job.
I was also one of the only people of color working at our company. If you’re a fan of Mad Men you’ve seen how white the office is – trust me when I say that, for an industry charged with marketing products to a diverse nation, advertising has all the diversity of John Hughes film (translation – none).
So, when I first encountered the overt racism of the “no urban” dictate I was flying solo in my criticism.
My client was the #1 station in all key demographics in a top 10 city. That means white listeners were tuning in too, because black people only made up 30% of the city population at best. The station’s listeners had a healthy adult income and thus I should have been sitting pretty selling the hell out of it.
And I would have been…but for the power of the no-urban dictate.
I encountered a sea of no urban dictates from brands and products I still struggle to purchase even after a decade of being out of the business.
I’m not talking about not being able to sell the station to an ad agency representing a niche luxury brand.
I’m talking about being told that a restaurant whose most expensive item is $15 sending out a request for bids with “no urban (black) stations need apply” written on it clear as day and without shame.
There I was with the #1 station and no one wanted to dance.
No urban (black) and no Hispanic dictates are not about good advertising. They are about racist and bigoted advertising…agencies that lack the courage to tell their clients that they are shooting their own foot by dissing the purchase power of minorities simply because those clients see consumers of color as unflattering and undesirable…and consumers of color who generally have no idea that they are shopping in a store that’ll take their money even though they think those consumers are unflattering and undesirable.
The lack of resistance to the overt racism of no urban and no Hispanic dictates is one of the reasons I left advertising.
Now, over a decade later, the FCC has finally acknowledged the problem and begun the process of addressing it.
But the cold hard reality is that Advertising as an industry is where the change needs to come from followed closely by those industries and companies that place ads.
And all you have to do is take a good look at the demographics of the average ad agency or corporate marketing department to see that we’re probably going to see a Triple Crown winner in my lifetime before we see change come from within.
Having said that, I applaud the FCC’s move. If nothing else it took those dictates out of the closet.
Shop accordingly, my friends!
***logs off the get this day of political drama started***