Apologies All Around Over Mini 'No Urban Dictate' Buy
August 14, 2009 at 4:43 AM (PT)
The apologies are flying in the wake of MINORITY MEDIA AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COUNCIL Pres./Executive Dir. DAVID HONIG's angry letter (NET NEWS 8/13) to new FCC Chairman JULIUS GENACHOWSKI, claiming a letter from CANDY ROSS at PALASADES MEDIA, regarding a flight of commercials for MINI COOPER, is an example of NUD -- "No Urban Dictate."
MINI Marketing Dir. TRUDY HARDY wrote a letter to KIZART MEDIA PARTNERS Managing Dir. SHERMAN KIZART, that was cc'd to MINI USA VP JIM MCDOWELL, PALISADES MEDIA PRINCIPALS ROGER SHAFFNER & BARBARA STEIN, BUTLER, SHINE, STERN & PARTNERS CEO GREG STERN, AAAA's NANCY HILL & ADONIS HOFFMAN, RADIO-ONE's BARRY MAYO, ALFRED LIGGINS, BRUCE DEMPS & DOUGLAS ABERNETHY, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BLACK OWNED BROADCASTERS's JIM WINSTON and SPOTSET NETWORK's HOWARD ROBERTSON.
This was a single, isolated incident that we have taken steps to make sure does not repeat itself in the future in any department of our company.
She wrote, "I appreciate your bringing this situation to my attention. I also need to apologize for this error in judgment and the inappropriate actions of PALISADES MEDIA. Our goal at MINI is to reach a diverse audience and we have always included all program formats as part of our media buys. It is our intent with this buy as well to broaden that reach for MINI across our major markets."
She continued, "We are taking immediate steps to correct the situation. MINI’s buying instructions have never excluded any program format, however, the media buying agency, made an error in this instance. Urban formats have been a part of MINI’s media mix in the past and will continue to be part of our mix in the future. We have asked PALISADES to reissue the correct buying instructions immediately. Secondly, we will take corrective action with PALISADES to make sure this never happens again."
A Response From Palisades CEO Roger Schaffner
PALISADES CEO ROGER SCHAFFNER also fired off a letter aimed at diffusing the situation. He wrote, "PALISADES MEDIA does not and has never had a policy of not considering media targeted to African Americans on any schedules we have placed."
"What occurred that raised this issue was one buyer who decided to write in her avails request that 'Urban formats for radio should not be included,' he continued. "She mistakenly did this on her own and not through any directive from PALISADES MEDIA personnel, or BUTLER, SHINE, STERN & PARTNERS personnel or MINI personnel. This was a single, isolated incident that we have taken steps to make sure does not repeat itself in the future in any department of our company."