NYC Comptroller Weighs In On Ad Dictates
June 11, 2009 at 5:03 AM (PT)
For years, critics who complained that radio stations aimed at black and Hispanic listeners did not get their fair share of advertising revenue made marketers the targets of their ire, blogs STUART ELLIOT in THE NEW YORK TIMES. "Now, the spotlight is shining on the media agencies that help decide where marketers buy commercial time.
"WILLIAM C. THOMPSON JR., the NEW YORK CITY comptroller, sent letters to five giant holding companies that own agencies specializing in media buying and planning. In those letters, Mr. THOMPSON called for an end to practices, described in a statement on TUESDAY, 'that either exclude radio stations serving minority audiences from ad placements or involve lower pay to those stations.'
"The rationale for Mr. THOMPSON’s involvement is that he oversees the NEW YORK CITY Pension Funds, which own more than 3.2 million shares of stock, valued at more than $95 million, in the companies to which the letters were sent. 'I am committed to the eradication of discriminatory practices at advertising companies' in which the funds invest, Mr. THOMPSON said in the statement.
"The efforts by Mr. THOMPSON are parallel to an initiative known as the MADISON AVENUE PROJECT, which seeks to increase the diversity of the work force of agencies, whether they specialize in media, advertising campaigns, direct marketing or other areas.
"Those involved in that initiative, which include the N.A.A.C.P., have sent letters to the nation’s 25 largest advertisers, asking them to require that their agencies use racially diverse teams of employees in posts like account management."