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Brief Published: 7 Feb 2018

The Black Paper: US Diversity Insights

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Black Americans' spending power is expected to rise to $1.4tn by 2020

New York-based multicultural communications agency Bold Culture has published The Black Paper – the first in a series of white papers to educate industry professionals about the importance of diversity in advertising.

Released in January 2018, The Black Paper focuses on the underrepresentation of black people in the media, marketing and advertising, as well as their huge influence in popular culture. Key points from the US report include: 

  • High Spending Power: Black Americans' spending power is expected to rise to $1.4tn by 2020, up from $320bn in 1990. That's because this audience is now more educated than ever and continuing to grow at a rapid rate, with 2.6 million individual businesses in the US owned by black Americans. 
  • Hyper-Connected: There are 11.5 million black millennials (aged 24 to 37) in the US. Given that 55% of them spend an hour or more on social media each day, compared to 49% of the total millennial population, this is a demographic that should be targeted on social media.
  • Trusting Influencers: When making purchases, black consumers are 96% more likely than white consumers to be influenced by celebrity endorsements.
  • Underrepresented: Popular culture and advertising have long been influenced by African-American culture – from music to fashion and slang. However, Bold Culture warns that ad execs have not increased their spending on advertising to this audience; nor have they hired more diverse talent in their agencies.

For more ways to create and communicate a culture of diversity, see Diverse Talent, Superhero Staff.

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