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Subject: AEJ 03 HollerbK ADV Is It Segmentation or Segregation?
From: Elliott Parker <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:AEJMC Conference Papers <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 21 Sep 2003 10:00:46 -0400
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Is It Segmentation or Segregation?
Exploring the Unintended Social Consequence of Targeting Minority Audiences
with Advertising Placements Outside of Mainstream Media


Karie L. Hollerbach
Department of Communication
Southeast Missouri State University
One University Plaza
Cape Girardeau, MO  63703

573-986-6437 (office)
[log in to unmask]


Running Head:  Is It Segmentation or Segregation?



Submission:  Advertising Division - Professional Freedom and Responsibility
  AEJMC 2003



Abstract
        An emphasis on segmenting audiences as a function of targeted marketing
could lead to possible audience separation or even isolation for some
audience members.  This study examines the numerical representation and
presence of African Americans relative to Caucasians in advertisements
placed in primetime television programs found in the Nielsen African
American Audience Index and the Nielsen General Audience Index.  A content
analysis of 813 advertisements appearing in the same four-week time period
indicated that African Americans do appear more frequently and speak more
in advertisements placed in programs found in the African American Index
versus the General Audience Index.  However, when African Americans' and
Caucasians' speaking and non-speaking time are compared, Caucasians speak
more and are on screen more than African Americans in advertisements from
both program indexes.


Introduction
There is no easy escape from advertising in today's society.  It is found
literally everywhere from the pages of the newspaper and the flickering of
the television screen to the placards on the city bus and the framed boards
in the restroom.  Advertisers leave no stone unturned, no space uncovered.
Advertising, for most of the 20th century, was a product of an economic
system that focused on the mass production of mass goods marketed to the
masses through mass advertising and communication (Schultz,
1999).  Companies, through their advertising agencies, spoke to everyone at
the same time and in the same way.  A changing economy, technological
innovations, and audience fragmentation brought changes to the advertising
industry.  Advertisers had to reconsider not only who they wanted to reach
with their message, but also how, where, when, and why they wanted to reach
them.  Targeted advertising assumed its place as the more efficient method
of reaching consumers.  The ultimate advertising goal became the ability to
reach different groups of consumers with specific messages about how
certain products would tie into their lifestyles (Turow, 1997).
While 20th century advertising claimed to be content with the delivery of
"everyone" who was available, the term really only applied to the available
white majority (O'Barr, 1994).  Racial and ethnic minority population
members were not included in advertising's realm of consideration.  In
1953, African Americans could be seen in just .05% of mainstream magazine
advertising (Shuey, 1953).  Nearly 40 years later, African American
presence in mainstream magazine advertising had risen to just 10.6% (Bowen
and Schmid, 1997).  Minorities, as advertising audience members, only
entered the picture after their economic viability as a target market was
established (O'Barr, 1994).  However, Sivulka (1998) pointed out that "the
emergence of the ethnic market did not mean that more minority images were
used in general market advertising.  Instead, ethnic minorities were used
in separate ad campaigns" (p. 401).
Constructing one set of advertisements featuring the white majority for
placement in mainstream media and another set of advertisements featuring
African Americans for placement in African American targeted media has been
identified as a segmentational marketing and advertising strategy.  This
paper explores the possibility that segmentational advertising efforts
have, in effect, become a form of advertising segregation for African
American advertising depictions in terms of message placement.
Economic and Marketing Forces Give Rise to Segmentation
        Cortese (1999) identifies advertising as "a powerful social force that
commands the public's attention to, and faith in, a particular style of
consciousness and consumption" (p. 3).  Advertisements entice, encourage,
and even insist that we buy and consume goods and services.  Consumption
patterns and preferences differ among societal groups, and these
distinctions have become an important part of today's social
order  (O'Barr, 1994).  At a micro level, one measure of audience
differentiation is the classification of product users as light, medium, or
heavy in terms of their consumption patterns.  At a macro level, one
measure of social differentiation is that of the economically-based class
system that is replacing the American myth of the great middle class
(O'Barr, 1994).  It is no longer fashionable to be middle class "like
everyone else."  Now a consumer can continually seek the next
consumption-driven class level by "trading up" in cars, clothes, furniture,
houses, entertainment and luxury items, and even in media.  Minimizing
consumption would challenge the fundamental nature of our social order, for
today, "we are what we consume" (O'Barr, 1994, p. 94).
By encouraging all manners and levels of consumption, advertising provides
a basic structural support for an economy based on mass production (O'Barr,
1994).  Throughout the early part of the 20th century, mass production was
thought to equate with mass consumption.  This relationship could be
characterized by the statement "If we make it, they will buy it."  The
economic drive for most companies was the availability of raw materials and
inputs, with little consideration given to the availability of markets and
demand for specific types of products (Keith, 1960).  By mid-century, an
expanded focus on salesmanship saw the development of market research and
the beginning of a keen interest in the consumer.  The first 50 years of
marketing thought had been somewhat generalized (Bartels, 1988).  The
reconceptualization and redefinition of marketing in the 1950s and 1960s
focused on the need for specialization (Bartels, 1988), influenced by a
variety of economic factors:  intensified product competition jostling for
the consumer's dollar, advanced technology that made production  mass and
specialized  cheaper and faster, and increased discretionary consumer
buying power (Smith, 1956).
Differentiation became the watchword for marketing in the 1960s and
beyond.  It manifested itself in two primary areas:  product
differentiation and market segmentation.  Product differentiation, from a
strategy viewpoint, attempts to secure a measure of control over product
demand by advertising differences between the company's product and its
competitors' products (Smith, 1956).  Market segmentation attempts to
respond to divergent demand within a heterogeneous market by subdividing it
into smaller, more homogenous markets that can then reflect a more precise
satisfaction of consumer desires (Smith, 1956).  Like product
differentiation, market segmentation relies heavily on advertising and
promotion to inform the segmented markets "of the availability of goods or
services produced for or presented as meeting their needs with precision"
(Smith, 1956, p. 398).  The consumer, not the company, thus became the
center of the business universe (Keith, 1960).
To address differing consumption patterns and product preferences,
marketers further developed and refined the art of market segmentation
(Stevens, Loudon, & Warren, 1991).  Segmentation efforts are typically used
to increase product sales by aligning a product or brand with an
identifiable customer group (Jain, 1993).  A product-market is divided into
smaller composite parts or segments, based on the idea that the needs of
consumers in segment A are different than the needs of consumers in segment
B.  Marketers concluded that it was both effective and economically
efficient to use different marketing strategies to reach different customer
segments.  Hence, market segmentation's phenomenal growth throughout the
last three decades of the 20th century.
        The division of a product-market is accomplished by the identification and
implementation of segmentation variables (Cravens, 1994).  The first
variable, known as the basis, is used to determine the initial division of
the product-market into segments.  The second variable, known as the
descriptor, is used to describe or profile the segments.  Four variable
categories are used for market segmentation and the subsequent
establishment of target markets:  characteristics of buyers, use-situation,
buyers' needs and preferences, and purchase behavior (Cravens, 1994).  The
characteristics of buyers are more useful in describing consumer segments
than in providing an initial identification.  Thus, buyers' use-situations,
needs and preferences, and purchase behaviors work as the basis variables
in providing for the primary division of the segments.  Buyer
characteristics, such as age, gender, income, lifestyle, and race, usually
work primarily as the descriptors, although not exclusively.  The other
three variable categories can also function as descriptors.
        Segmentation, as an initial strategic marketing technique, sets off a
chain reaction within the advertising and promotion framework for a
product.  Segmentation is a foundational element of a product's overall
positioning strategy (Cravens, 1994).  This strategy determines how to
combine product distribution, product pricing, and product promotion into a
coordinated set of actions that will favorably position the product with
the buyers found in the identified segment.  Jain (1993) noted that
variables used to divide and describe the product-market should seek to
create a segment that is accessible through promotion.  Advertising
comprises a subset of actions found in the promotion category with the
placement of advertising messages one of the important dimensions.
Segmentation Separates Society
Advertising placement has become closely tied to the descriptor variable of
buyer characteristics.  One of the major commodities currently being bought
and sold is the advertising audience, neatly classified along the lines of
gender, ethnicity, class, age, (Cortese, 1999) and consumption.  Target
marketing's rising star has made it increasingly worthwhile, from an
economic standpoint, for even the largest media companies to separate
audiences into different worlds.  This separation is based on distinctions
that the advertising industry feels will make the "audiences secure and
comfortable" (Turow, 1997, p. 2).
Presumably, these distinctions fall along the lines previously
mentioned.  Even though the United States population already sees itself
marked by huge economic and cultural tensions, advertisers and the media do
not seem to think that their further segmentation of the population could
contribute to existing social problems.  Market segmentation may be a
logical output of the target marketing process, but it does raise ethical
questions regarding which consumers are included and how they are targeted
in comparison to which consumers are excluded and the benefits they are
denied (Arens, 2002).  Marketing and advertising professionals need to
consider when segmenting a market maligns those it tries to serve (Sims,
1997; Smith and Cooper, 1997).
Advancements in message construction and placement will lead to an even
greater number of advertisements being tailored to particular audience
segments.  It is now possible, due to more sophisticated marketing
research, to personalize advertising messages.  It is now possible, due to
more sophisticated technological delivery, to send different televised
commercial messages into different households (O'Barr, 1994).  This kind of
customization takes lifestyle segmentation even further (Turow, 1997).
Advertising media segmentation, developed to support market segmentation,
allows and encourages audience members to live in their own personally
constructed worlds.  They can separate themselves from issues and people
that they do not care about or do not want to interact with.  Advertising
media segmentation could also encourage the concentration of specific
societal groups' images into designated message placement areas.  The
Dictionary of the Social Sciences (1977) defines the voluntary or
involuntary concentration of particular population groups into particular
areas as a form of segregation.
        Turow (1997) stated that the media that encourage small slices of American
society to talk only to themselves are segment-making media.  Media that
have the potential to get all of the segments to talk with one another are
society-making media.  In an ideal world, segment-making media strengthen
the identity of special interest groups while society-making media make it
possible for these same groups to interact with each other through
discussion, debate, and entertainment (Turow, 1997).
        Yet, even in an ideal world, there are problems associated with each kind
of media.  Segment-making media have, at times, painted a narrow,
prejudiced view of other social segments while society-making media have
perpetuated stereotypes of some groups and "have generally presented a
portrayal of the world that is more the ideal vision of the corporate
establishment sponsoring them than a reflection of competing visions of
various publics"  (Turow, 1997, p. 4).  However, the existence of both
media signals the potential for establishing a balance between healthy
social segments and a healthy social collective.  This potential is
diminishing rapidly due to the intense movement by advertisers away from
society-making media toward segment-making media in order to search out and
exploit consumer differences in the name of economic profit (Turow, 1997).
        Media organizations have developed the skills necessary to attract
audience segments to specialized formats, but some have decided that
attraction alone is not enough.  The ability to repel those audience
members who do not fit the desired lifestyle profile is the latest effort
being undertaken to make the primary media community "pure and thereby more
efficient for advertisers" (Turow, 1997, p. 5).  With new zipcode-based
computer models and consumer databases ready and waiting, both advertisers
and media will soon be able to simply exclude the unwanted audience members
from the outset so that the segment-making media audience remains intact.
By turning the audience into an abundance of marketing labels, advertisers
and the media are making it virtually impossible for an audience member to
find himself or herself in more than just a few segments (Turow,
1997).  How will audience members who identify with only certain social
categories ever learn about other members and other categories?  If an
audience member is constantly reminded that other members are not a part of
the world, the audience member will be less likely to ever desire to
interact with those other members (Turow, 1997).  Thus, "market
segmentation and targeting may accelerate an erosion of the tolerance and
mutual dependence between diverse groups that enable a society to work"
(Turow, 1997, p. 7).
Advertising's Role in Establishing Societal Divisions
Advertising, as a powerful social force, wraps up our emotions and then
sells them back to us (Cortese, 1999).  Advertising practitioners use
research to discover and uncover our attitudes, moral judgments, and our
interactions with others.  Images of these attitudes, moral judgments, and
social interactions are then used in advertising to sell us a good or
service (Cortese, 1999).  The industry, with its billion dollar budgets,
outpaces both the church and the school in its ability to promote our place
in society (Turow, 1997).  Advertising does not formulate social values and
attitudes all on its own, though (Cortese, 1999).  Advertising draws upon
and then redirects issues that the audience members already share.  Thus,
it "reflects, not affects, the beliefs, values, and ideologies or cultural
beliefs that serve to justify social stratification" (Cortese, 1999, p. 12).
        The media are ideal agents for depicting the life of society to
society.  Advertising, as a part of the media, tells stories that direct
attention toward certain issues and away from others (Turow, 1997).  These
stories tell audience members "what civilization out there is like, how
they fit in, what others think of people like them, and what people like
themselves think of others" (Turow, 1997, p. 9).  This communication in
advertising reflects the social practices and cultural values that
presently exist (O'Barr, 1994).  Yet it is also true that advertising
recreates and reinforces these same practices and values in the process of
depicting them.  Thus, it becomes difficult to say which element leads and
which element follows.  Does culture come first or does the ad?  (O'Barr,
1994).
        Societal construction through advertising is possible through the unique
combination of message creation and message placement.  Advertising
practitioners develop a story that demonstrates the product's usefulness to
audience members.  To do this effectively, the practitioners must place the
product into a social and environmental context that reflects the audience
and its values (Turow, 1997).  Typically the advertisement depicts the
audience members' world, an issue to be dealt with in that world, and the
applicability of the product in the resolution of that issue in that
world.  Another group of advertising practitioners then determines in what
media communities the advertisement's intended audience resides and places
the advertisement in only those media.  Turow (1997) stated that "just as
creatives must construct a version of society when they make commercial
messages, so planners must work with an idea of the proposed audience's
social world when buying time and space" (p. 15).
As audience members consume advertising-sponsored media, they are entering
into a world constructed through close cooperation between the advertiser
and the media organization (Turow, 1997).  Certain social values,
priorities, and ideas about the intended audience are built into the
targeted formats created by media organizations.  These media formats are
then offered for sale to advertisers as a method of delivery for the
targeted advertiser messages.  These messages were also built on the
values, priorities, and ideas advertisers had about the intended
audience.  Thus, both the advertisements and the media formats "signal to
people whether and how they fit into the proceedings.  They also signal
what people might buy or do to keep fitting in" (Turow, 1997, p. 16).
Advertising has its own ideology and discourse that work together to
further define the social order of its intended audience and, thus, provide
the means of societal construction.  The creation of advertising relies on
ideas that support and reinforce the social order of our consumption-driven
society (O'Barr, 1994).  To understand advertising ideology, one must ask,
in reference to actual advertisements:  Who is in control?  Who is
subordinate?  Who is powerful?  Who is weak?  The discourse is found in two
areas:  in the messages that the advertising conveys such as this detergent
gets clothes cleaner and this cereal tastes better and in the context of
use such as who does the laundry with the detergent and who pours the
cereal into the breakfast bowls.  Social relationships, depicted through
advertising ideology and discourse, are seldom about equality.  Most
messages are about dominance and subordination (O'Barr, 1994).
What emerges from the consumption of advertising is an understanding of
what are considered to be appropriate relations for those audience members
in the constructed segment or category.  Thus, advertising first defines
the audience segment, but then quickly moves to place the segment into a
social context that demonstrates issues related to power and control
(O'Barr, 1994).  Media images confirm one's own worldview, promote the
acceptance of current social standings, and reassure audience members that
things really are the way they ought to be (Coltrane & Messineo, 2000).
Advertising executives, when questioned about the ideology perpetuated
through the discourse of advertising, claim to represent people and society
as they are and that it is society that is sexist or racist (O'Barr,
1994).  The executives also are resistant to the charge that the
advertising industry is somewhat responsible for the maintenance of these
ideas in society through their repetition of such depictions.  The
executives stand behind the claim that advertising does have the power to
encourage people to try a product or to switch product brands, while they
deny the accusation that advertising has the power to preserve stereotypes
and power inequities within society (O'Barr, 1994).
Individual advertising practitioners also express disbelief regarding any
personal influence that they could have over advertising's construction of
society.  O'Barr (1994) stated that "individuals who practice the craft of
advertising enter the discourse, contribute to it, but often disclaim any
real responsibility for what it said before or may be said after they were
involved in its production" (p. 206).  It is easier for individuals to act
without a sense of personal responsibility about their actions when
everyone in their industry maintains that ethical and societal matters are
someone else's concern (O'Barr, 1994).  Without these effective personal
controls in place, the advertising industry will continue to produce
advertising that it feels will sell the most products to the most members
of the target audience.  Any themes or societal depictions, even if they
are sexist or racist, will continue to be repeated.  Audience members will
ultimately become desensitized to these themes as they are repeated over
and over (O'Barr, 1994).
Advertising's Representation of Societal Differences
        Advertising, as a social force, "articulates, develops, transforms, and
elaborates ideas of ethnicity, gender, and social class" (Cortese, 1999, p.
13).  Neither advertising nor the mass media in general presents a uniform
conception of these complex issues.  Advertising also does not consciously
or deliberately seek to plot against specific societal group members, such
as those in protected classes (Cortese, 1999).  Yet, advertising has been
accused of encouraging racism's presence in our culture (Fuller, 2001).
Racism in advertising today is really more inferential than
blatant.  Typically it takes the form of media representation or a lack
thereof.  The depiction of unique societal groups indicates that they have
a power base, a secure place in society, and a noted identity (Cortese,
1999).  Just as a social group's importance is conveyed through its
appearance and performance in the media, the social group's lack of
importance can also be transmitted through the media through little or no
representation.  A lack of media representation suggests that a group does
not possess significant material or political power bases (Cortese,
1999).  Groups placed at the bottom of the social stratification are kept
there in part through their conspicuous absence in the media.  A group's
devaluation is also conveyed through symbolic racism in the media that
includes ethnic stereotyping, trivialization of minority empowerment or
racial equality, or the absence of ethnic images (Cortese, 1999).
Mass media are among the strongest bonds holding together the diverse
groups that compose our heterogeneous society (Cortese, 1999).  Media are
both a barometer of race relations and a potential accelerator for either
racial cohesion or cultural separation (Entman & Rojecki, 2000).  As a
diagnostic measure, media content offers a revealing indication of any new
forms of racial segmentation.  Advertising specifically demonstrates the
extent that ethnic minorities have penetrated social institutions
historically dominated by white males (Cortese, 1999).  As a causal agent,
media help mold and reflect culture (Entman & Rojecki, 2000).  Advertising
can intentionally select the ethnic images to be presented to society that,
in turn, help shape attitudes about race and ethnicity (Cortese, 1999).
Ethnic stereotypes were the primary portrayal of minorities in the
advertising industry during the first half of the 20th century (Sivulka,
1998).  African Americans were depicted typically in subservient roles such
as Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, or the helpful porter on the Union Pacific
Railroad (O'Barr, 1994).  Other minority groups rarely even appeared in
advertising (Sivulka, 1998).  Minority audience members, as consumers, were
virtually ignored (Cortese, 1999).  The expression of the 20th century's
consumption-driven culture, even in its early stages, affirmed the racial
inferiority of s through exclusion or demeaning stereotypes (Entman &
Rojecki, 2000).
Practitioners in the developing field of marketing research fixated on
trying to tap into the "average American."  Minority populations were not
labeled as a part of the mainstream culture in America (Cortese,
1999).  Advertisers continued to dream about a mythical middle America
guided by traditional values and populated by white people (Sivulka,
1998).  The cultural homogeneity sought by advertisers in the mid-20th
century did not really exist then and, some 50 years later, it certainly
does not exist now.
Social change, in the form of the civil rights movement in the 1960s,
spurred the use of cultural diversity throughout the advertising industry
(Sivulka, 1998; Cortese, 1999; O'Barr 1994).  African Americans were the
primary minority group to see any effect on advertising representation and,
even then, the pace was slow (Sivulka, 1999).  African Americans had been
defined as "outside of the intended audience for most advertisements"
(O'Barr, 1994, p. 107) during a large part of the 20th century.  Their
images had been used without concern for what they might think of such
depictions.
Following the civil rights movement, advertisers were quick to realize the
potential of this newly-emerging market and moved to redefine advertising's
intended audience to include African Americans (O'Barr, 1994).  This
inclusion took the form of specialized advertisements promoting goods and
services to African American audience members through media, such as
magazines and billboards, developed specifically for them.  A lack of
African American representation continued in the mainstream media with
researchers suggesting that it might be reflective of some advertisers'
concerns about how a white audience would respond to black images in
advertising (see Barban, 1964; Bush, Gwinner, & Soloman, 1974; Cagley &
Cardozo, 1970).  Entman & Rojecki (2000) reported that television
advertising casting decisions are still rooted in the assumption that white
audience members would react negatively to commercials with too many
African American characters.  However, an exploratory study at the
University of Missouri-Columbia found that neither ethnic nor Caucasian
images in print advertisements affected a person's purchase intentions
(Frisby, 1999).
Zinkhan, Qualls, and Biswas (1990) determined that African American media
representation in advertising had increased over time, with greater
representation present in television than in print advertising.  Yet Wilkes
and Valencia (1989) found that African Americans were featured in only 17%
of the 904 television commercials that they analyzed, with African
Americans appearing in a major role in only 31% of the ads that included
any kind of  representation.  Entman and Rojecki (2000) found that an
African American person appears in about a third of all primetime
television commercials.
A New York City Department of Consumer Affairs research study titled
Invisible People concluded that only 3% of the characters represented in
general interest magazine advertising were African American  (Green,
1991).  The report stated that racial stereotyping, under representation,
and segregation were all found in the media examined, and the report's
authors asked the publishing companies to establish benchmarks for improved
multi-ethnic representation in their advertising.  A follow-up study,
titled Still Invisible People, reported that African American
representation had increased to 5% in 1992 (Green, 1992).
Research indicates that, when African Americans do appear in advertising,
they tend to be associated with marketing pitches for beer or malt liquor,
cigarettes, automobiles, electronic products, and hair care products
(Cortese, 1999).  Most television advertisements featuring an all African
American cast are used to promote necessity goods, such as groceries,
household items, and drugs (Entman & Rojecki, 2000).  Current depictions of
African Americans typically take the form of athletes, entertainers, or
laborers with portrayals of children also at a significant level (Sivulka,
1998).  As sports figures, African Americans are shown with basketballs
instead of tennis rackets (O'Barr, 1994).  As entertainers, they are shown
as musicians playing jazz instead of classical music.  Could these
depictions be called an adequate reflection of today's society or are they
just a sign of new racial stereotypes?
Entman and Rojecki (2000) found that overt conventional stereotyping of
African Americans in television commercials had diminished, while less
apparent forms of differentiation based on race have appeared.  Their
content analysis of over 1,600 primetime advertisements suggested that
television advertising does convey images of racial separation and
hierarchy in certain dimensions.  Within a television commercial with an
integrated cast, there should be no real difference in the frequency of
African American and Caucasian actors receiving close-up camera
angles.  Yet, Caucasian actors were twice as likely to be featured in this
way than their African American counterparts (Entman & Rojecki, 2000).
Marketing and advertising endeavors with the minority audience in mind will
become even more critical as minority buying power increases due to
population growth (Sivulka, 1998).  African Americans now number
approximately 35 million (Census 2000 Brief, 2001) with their buying power
at $540.5 billion in 2000, an increase of 86% during the period 1990-2000
(Business Week, 2001).
Has Segmentation Given Way to Segregation?
The idea of advertising delivery taking on segregational overtones has
appeared in a few of the research studies conducted on African American
representations in advertising.  However, most of the previous research has
focused on the apparent lack of African American advertising depictions and
on the presentation of stereotypes (Entman & Rojecki, 2000).  Any
references to a concerted attempt to put only advertisements with African
American characters into media known to be targeted to the African American
audience have been reported as secondary findings.
In the Invisible People report, Green (1991) noted "the emergence of the
ethnic market has not meant that many more minorities are used in general
advertising.  Instead, ethnic minorities are used in separate ad campaigns
targeted outside the general market, in black and Latino-oriented media"
(p. 42).  Green (1991) added that the data from the New York City
Department of Commerce's report indicated strongly that the magazine
industry was engaged in segregational advertising practices.  The report
also referred to the rise of "white media" and "black media" during the
1960s as an unspoken, separate-but-equal policy.  By the 1970s, only white
models were used in "white media" and only black models were used in "black
media."  Green (1991) reported that, with few exceptions, this trend
continued into the 1990s.
Frisby (1999) stated that minority models and actors, in general, receive
less exposure in mainstream media advertising than members of the white
majority group do.  Bowen and Schmid (1997) reported that there were few
advertisements in mainstream media where minorities appeared alone or were
not outnumbered by members of the white majority.  Zinkhan, Qualls, and
Bisaws (1990) may have found an increasing number of  African American
advertising portrayals, but Frisby (1999) attributed this increase to the
placements of African American images in targeted media vehicles such as
Jet, Essence, and Living Single.  Entman and Rojecki (2000) also identified
this trend, stating that there were slight differences in the advertising
on programs featuring African American actors, such as Martin, a situation
comedy airing on Fox that starred  comedian Martin Lawrence.  The program
featured two all African American advertisements and three all-Caucasian
advertisements, out of nine total.  The other two Fox programs used in the
sample, The Simpsons and Married With Children, had no all African American
advertisements.  Five all-Caucasian advertisements, out of ten total, were
shown during The Simpsons and seven all-Caucasian advertisements, out of
twelve total, were shown during Married With Children.
Mainstream media do attract a minority audience, according to market
research that indicates that minority groups are regular consumers of
several "cross cultural" media such as soap operas, news programs, and
primetime serials (Frisby, 1999).  In fact, African Americans watch more
television from 7:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. than any other audience group (Frisby,
1999).   African American television usage peaks during the primetime
viewing hours of 8pm to 11pm (Horizon Media, 2001).    Nielsen Media
Research (2002) identifies African American television households as the
largest minority segment of the United States' television household
population, comprising approximately 12%.  Yankelovich and Associates
(2001) found in their consumer research on African Americans that including
them in advertising efforts makes a difference to them when it comes time
to make a purchase decision.  So why do we not see more African American
presence during primetime television advertising?
Pollay and Lee (1992) briefly acknowledged that a fully segmented marketing
strategy could also be a segregational marketing strategy.  There is also
some cursory evidence pointing to the fact that African American audience
members are very aware of the flood of dedicated targeted messages directed
toward them.  Al Styles, vice president and director of research for
Burrell Advertising, the largest minority advertising agency in the United
States, stated that African Americans are reporting with increasing
frequency in qualitative consumer field research studies that they do not
want to be singled out with advertisements that only appear on syndicated
African American-oriented television programs or in targeted African
American print media (2001).  African Americans do not feel that their
advertising media treatment is consistent and equitable with the society at
large.  They are asking, "Why do I see the same television commercials with
African American depictions again and again on only certain programs?  Why
aren't these commercials aired on shared audience programs and sporting
events?  What's wrong with the product or me, as a consumer, for such a
singled-out approach to be taken with the advertising?"  (Styles, 2001).
Purpose of Study
        Further empirical research is needed to identify the levels of African
American presence in advertising presented simultaneously in general
audience media and African American media.  Would who you see in the
advertising differ, depending on the program context in which you watched
the advertising?  In the context of popular primetime television programs,
would there be significant differences in African American presence in
advertising?
H1:  Advertisements with ad cast types containing African Americans will be
found more frequently placed within programs listed in the Nielsen African
American Audience Index than in programs listed in the Nielsen General
Audience Index.
H2:  Advertisements with greater numbers of African American characters
will be found more frequently placed within programs listed in the Nielsen
African American Audience Index than in programs listed in the Nielsen
General Audience Index.
RQ3:  Will the mean amount of speaking time for African Americans in an
advertisement be significantly greater in the advertisements placed within
the Nielsen African American Audience Index programs or the Nielsen General
Audience Index programs?
RQ4:  Will the mean amount of speaking time for African Americans be
greater than that of Caucasians in advertisements placed within programs
found in the Nielsen African American Audience Index?
RQ5:  Will the mean amount of speaking time for African Americans be
greater than that of Caucasians in advertisements placed within programs
found in the Nielsen General Audience Index?
RQ6: Will the mean amount of non-speaking time for African Americans in an
advertisement be significantly greater in the advertisements placed within
the Nielsen African American Audience Index programs or the Nielsen General
Audience Index programs?
RQ7: Will the mean amount of non-speaking time for African Americans be
greater than that of Caucasians in advertisements placed within programs
found in the Nielsen African American Audience Index?
RQ8: Will the mean amount of non-speaking time for African Americans be
greater than that of Caucasians in advertisements placed within programs
found in the Nielsen General Audience Index?
Method
        Because previous research in this area has been either qualitative in
nature or simply secondary findings from a quantitative study conducted on
a related minorities-in-advertising topic, the quantitative method of
content analysis was used to collect and analyze the data.  A purposive
sample of primetime television programs was selected from the programs
listed in the Nielsen General Audience Index and the Nielsen African
American Audience Index (Table 1).  The twelve most popular programs were
selected from each index.  Three programs were found on both indexes and
eliminated from the final analysis.  Program episodes were videotaped in a
Midwest media market from January 31, 2002 through March 1, 2002.  This
four-week period also coincided with the first Nielsen rating period of
2002.  The number of episodes recorded and their program length can also be
seen in Table 1.  Some programs on NBC were not broadcast weekly due to the
television coverage of the 2002 Winter Olympic games.  However, total
program time for each index as a whole was not adversely affected by the
individual program broadcast interruptions on NBC.
Spot and network advertisements for national advertisers that aired during
the sampled programs were included in the analysis.  Advertisements for
local advertisers, for other television programs, for the television
station affiliate itself, for the media products of movies and videos, and
for public service announcements were not included in the
analysis.  Advertisements without human cast members were also
eliminated.  Following the removal of the previously mentioned
advertisements, the remaining advertising sample subject to analysis
consisted of 813 advertisement appearances.  This is not to be interpreted
as 813 unique television advertisements.
        Since the focus of this study is the presence of African Americans in
advertising, duplicate advertisements were included in the sample.  Thus,
if the same advertisement appeared five times during the sampling period,
it was coded once and entered into the dataset five times.  Each dataset
entry for an advertisement appearance was made within the appropriate
contextual programming unit.  Entman and Rojecki (2000) state that
including duplicate advertisements in the dataset is logical when
researcher interest is grounded in the concept of "ad appearance" (p. 164).
The advertisement sample was analyzed through the use of a 16-item coding
sheet (Appendix 1).  The pilot version was pre-tested on a sample of 30
advertisements that were not included in the sample.  The categories used
to capture information regarding cast members' race, speaking presence, and
non-speaking presence were revised after the pre-test.
The researcher and a second coder, working independently, coded the
sample.  The programs were divided between the researcher and the second
coder so that each person viewed advertisements from programs found in each
program index (Table 2).  Both the researcher and the second coder utilized
a detailed coding rules sheet (Appendix 2).  The second coder was
extensively trained on how to use the coding sheet and the coding rules
sheet in the analysis of the advertisements.  Training was done with
advertisements not included in the sample.  Both the researcher and the
coder had their own VCR and remote control so that advertisements could be
paused and replayed as desired.  Intercoder reliability using Holsti was
100% for program index, 100% for program cast type, 92.7% for ad cast type,
95.9% for cast member race, 87.7% for cast member screen time
(non-speaking), and 86.9% for cast member speaking time.  Intracoder
reliability using Holsti for the researcher was 100% for program index,
100% for program cast type, 100% for ad cast type, 95% for cast member
race, 90% for cast member screen time, and 92% for cast member speaking
time. Intracoder reliability using Holsti for the second coder was 100% for
program index, 100% for program cast type, 100% for ad cast type, 96% for
cast member race, 93% for cast member screen time, and 94% for cast member
speaking time.
Results
        Hypothesis 1:  In the African American Index programs, 54.7% of the
advertisements utilized an ad cast type that incorporated African Americans
(Table 3).  Within the General Audience Index programs, 45.2% of the
advertisements utilized an ad cast type that incorporated African
Americans.  Hypothesis 1 is supported.
        Hypothesis 2:  In the African American Index programs, 50.7% of the
advertisements had one to six African American characters (Table
4).  Within the General Audience Index programs, 40.7% of the
advertisements had one to six African American characters.  Hypothesis 2 is
supported.
        Research Question 3:  The mean amount of speaking time for African
Americans in an advertisement is significantly greater in the
advertisements placed within the African American Index programs versus the
General Audience Index programs (Table 5).  There is no significant
difference between the amount of Caucasian speaking time in an
advertisement between the two program indexes.
        Research Question 4:  The mean amount of speaking time for African
Americans was not greater than that of Caucasians in advertisements placed
within programs found in the African American Audience Index (Table
6).  Caucasian mean speaking time was significantly greater.
        Research Question 5:  The mean amount of speaking time for African
Americans was not greater than that of Caucasians in advertisements placed
within programs found in the General Audience Index (Table 7).  Caucasian
mean speaking time was significantly greater.
        Research Question 6: The mean amount of non-speaking time for African
Americans in an advertisement is significantly greater in the
advertisements placed within the African American Index programs versus the
General Audience Index programs (Table 8).  The mean amount of non-speaking
time for Caucasians in an advertisement is significantly less in the
advertisements placed within the African American Index programs versus the
General Audience Index programs (Table 8).
        Research Question 7: The mean amount of non-speaking time for African
Americans was not greater than that of Caucasians in advertisements placed
within programs found in the African American Audience Index (Table
9).  Caucasian mean non-speaking time was significantly greater.
        Research Question 8: The mean amount of non-speaking time for African
Americans was not greater than that of Caucasians in advertisements placed
within programs found in the General Audience Index (Table 10).  Caucasian
mean non-speaking time was significantly greater.
Discussion
        The first area of interest this paper explores is the question of:  Would
who you see in an advertisement differ depending on the program context in
which you were watching the advertising?  Tables 3 and 4 show that, while
one would see a greater number of African Americans in advertisements
placed within programs found in the African American Index, one would also
see a large number of Caucasians in those same advertisements.  In Table 3,
45.2% of the advertisements in the African American Index programs had
white only casts.  In the General Audience Index programs, 54.7% of the
advertisements had white only casts.  Thus, nearly half of the
advertisements from programs in both indexes utilized only white cast
members.  In Table 4, this trend is shown through actual number of
characters in the advertisement.  Once again, nearly half of the
advertisements from programs in both indexes utilized no African American
characters.
        The next area of interest this paper explores is the question of:  Would
there be significant differences in African American presence in
advertising found within programs from each index?  Presence was
operationalized as speaking time and non-speaking time (or screen time) of
African Americans and Caucasians per advertisement.  When assessing African
American presence in advertisements between the program indexes, there is a
greater amount of African American speaking time (Table 5) and non-speaking
time (Table 8) in advertisements placed within programs from the African
American Index.  These figures lend support to the idea that African
Americans are showing up more often in targeted advertising than in
mainstream advertising.
        However, a closer analysis reveals that African Americans are not the
stars of the targeted advertising appearing in the African American Index
programs.  From a speaking standpoint, they are out shouted by Caucasians
who speak significantly more (Table 6).  From a background standpoint, they
are overshadowed by Caucasians who have significantly more non-speaking
screen time (Table 9).  These same trends for speaking (Table 7) and
non-speaking (Table 10) time are found in the advertisements from the
General Audience Index also.
        Thus, while consumers may report seeing more African Americans in
television advertising placed within African American targeted programming,
these consumers are probably not realizing that Caucasians are still the
stars of these advertisements.  African Americans have not achieved
numerical parity even in their "own advertising."
        From a qualitative perspective, both the researcher and the second coder
noted specific advertisements that were frequently seen in the African
American programs that never appeared in the general audience
programs.  For example, State Farm Insurance ran a three advertisement
series in African American index programs featuring all African American
casts in the first two and an African American/White/Hispanic cast in the
third.  State Farm advertisements airing in the general audience programs
featured predominantly white people.
        Chevrolet had two different advertisements in the sampled programs for a
truck.  The advertisement that aired repeatedly in the general audience
programs featured a wealthy white rancher promising to give his son his
sizeable spread one day, but joking that the son would have to fight his
sister, shown sitting on the sweeping front porch of their estate, for the
Chevy Silverado truck.  The advertisement that aired repeatedly in some of
the African American audience programs featured a toiling African American
farmer shown wiping the sweat from his brow while he fixed his broken
tractor and worked his small farm.  His son, just in from the city, shows
up to help his father and reaches the remote farm via his Chevy
truck.  While this example also says something about advertising
depictions, the placement of those depictions just reinforces the message
about which groups belong in which places.
Limitations and Conclusion
An important methodological limitation regarding this analysis is the fact
that the advertisements were not collected from a top 20 designated
marketing area (DMA).  Eight of the ten largest television DMAs are also
the ones with the largest concentration of African American television
households (Horizon Media, 2001).  The number of African American
households in a market often determines if that market is included in a
spot advertising buy directed toward African Americans.  Sampling
advertisements from a larger metropolitan market could possibly yield
different results than those presented here.
More qualitative analysis of the advertisements appearing within the
different program indexes and cast contexts would benefit the next stage of
this research by providing richer detail about the characteristics of the
African American presence in the advertising.  Such qualitative research
would allow for the deeper exploration of the social construction ideas
presented in the literature review.  It would also assist in establishing
the parity of role representation for African Americans relative to
Caucasians.  This is an important dimension in light of this paper's
finding regarding the lack of numerical parity.
Developing knowledge of advertising's unintended social consequences is
challenging (Pollay, 1986).  Identifying the "by products" of the
economically driven manipulation to get us to "buy products" is not a
popular undertaking.  But, it is a necessary undertaking if the scholarly
disciplines of marketing and advertising are to move beyond
practicality-driven research into areas that may be more challenging
methodologically, yet more meaningful to the larger community of scholars
and citizens (Pollay, 1986).
As agents depicting the life of society to society, mass media and
advertising must assume some responsibility for their storytelling
actions.  Segmentation may be a strategic marketing technique, but when it
becomes more than just the division of an audience, it leads to a much
larger social problem.  When segmentation's effect becomes one of isolation
and concentration for specific societal groups, one must question the
motives of the messenger, be it the media or the advertiser.


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Table 1
Program Sample Used to Collect Television Advertisements

African American Program Index
Program Name            Netwk           Episodes        Length          Total Time

1.  The Parkers         UPN             4               30 min          2 hours
2.  The Hughleys                UPN             4               30 min          2 hours
3.  Girlfriends                 UPN             4               30 min          2 hours
4.  Steve Harvey Show   WB              3               30 min          1.5 hrs
5.  For Your Love               WB              4               30 min          2 hours
6.  My Wife and Kids            ABC             4               30 min          2 hours
7.  The Practice                ABC             4               60 min          4 hours
8.  Bernie Mac Show             FOX             4               30 min          2 hours
9.  Touched by Angel            CBS             4               60 min          4 hours
                                                                                _______
                                                                                21.5 hours


General Audience Index

1.  Friends                     CBS             3               30 min          1.5 hrs
2.  Raymond                     CBS             4               30 min          2 hours
3.  West Wing                   NBC             2               60 min          2 hours
4.  Becker                      CBS             4               30 min          2 hours
5.  Will and Grace              NBC             3               30 min          1.5 hrs
6.  Law and Order: SVU  NBC             2               60 min          2 hours
7.  Jag                         CBS             4               60 min          4 hours
8.  60 Minutes                  CBS             4               60 min          4 hours
9.  Judging Amy         CBS             4               60 min          4 hours
                                                                                _______

                                                                                23 hours


Shared Audience Index

1.  ER                          NBC             3               60 min          3 hours
2.  CSI                         CBS             4               60 min          4 hours
3.  Law and Order               NBC             2               60 min          2 hours
                                                                                _______
                                                                                9 hours
Table 2
Assignment of Sampled Programs By Coder


African American Program Index
Program Name                                            Coder

1.  The Parkers                                         2
2.  The Hughleys                                                2
3.  Girlfriends                                                 2
4. Steve Harvey Show                                            1
5.  For Your Love                                               1
6.  My Wife and Kids                                            1
7.  The Practice                                                2
8.  Bernie Mac Show                                             1
9.  Touched by Angel                                            2


General Audience Index
1.  Friends                                                     1
2.  Raymond                                                     2
3.  West Wing                                                   1
4.  Becker                                                      2
5.  Will and Grace                                              1
6.  Law and Order: SVU                                  1
7.  Jag                                                         2
8.  60 Minutes                                                  1
9.  Judging Amy                                         2


Shared Audience Index

1.  ER                                                          1
2.  CSI                                                         2
3.  Law and Order                                               1


Coder 1:        5 programs from general audience index
                2 programs from shared audience index
                4 programs from African American index
Coder 2:        4 programs from general audience index
                1 program from shared audience index
                5 programs from African American index
Table 3
Distribution of Advertisements by
Ad Cast Type and Program Index


                (Program Index)




African
American
Index

General
Audience
Index
(Ad Cast Type)
N                %
N                %

Black Only

45              11.6

12              2.8

White Only

176            45.2

232            54.7

Black/White

99              25.4

98              23.1

Mixed Race

69              17.7

82              19.3

Column Totals

389            100

424            100

        Chi square = 26.548, df=3, p=.001
        N=813

        Table Note:  mixed race is comprised of the following ad
        cast combinations:  black/white/Asian, black/white/Hispanic,
        black/white/Asian/Hispanic.











Table 4
Distribution of Advertisements by
Number of African American Characters and Program Index

                                                (Program Index)




African
American
Index

General
Audience
Index
(No. of African American Characters)
N             %
N                %

Zero Characters

192          49.4

251           59.3

One Character

92            23.7

104           24.6

Two Characters

48            12.3

52             12.3

Three Characters

29              7.5

11               2.6

Four - Six Characters

28              7.2

5                 1.2

Column Totals

389           100

423           100

Chi square = 31.514, df=4, p=.001
N=813










Table 5
Mean Speaking Time In Advertisements of African Americans and Caucasians
Between Program Indexes


        (Program Index)




African
American
Index

General
Audience
Index


Totals
N          Mean
N             Mean
N             Mean

African American
Speaking Time
t=3.85, p=.00

387          2.26

422           .83

809          1.55

Caucasian
Speaking Time

389           4.71

424           5.45

813          5.08






















Table 6
Mean Speaking Time In Advertisements of African Americans and Caucasians
Within the African American Program Index







African
American
Index
N            Mean

African American
Speaking Time

387          2.26

Caucasian
Speaking Time

387          4.73

t = -4.829, p=.00
























Table 7
Mean Speaking Time In Advertisements of African Americans and Caucasians
Within the General Audience Program Index







General
Audience
Index
N            Mean

African American
Speaking Time

422          .83

Caucasian
Speaking Time

422          5.42

t = -11.192, p=.00





















Table 8
Mean Non-Speaking Time In Advertisements of African Americans and
Caucasians Between Program Indexes


        (Program Index)




African
American
Index

General
Audience
Index


Totals
N            Mean
N             Mean
N             Mean

African American
Non-Speaking Time
t=4.84, p=.00

387          5.13

422           2.27

809          3.70

Caucasian
Non-Speaking Time
t=-3.37, p=.00

389           9.82

424           12.64

813          11.23
























Table 9
Mean Non-Speaking Time In Advertisements of
African Americans and Caucasians Within the
African American Program Index







African
American
Index
N            Mean

African American
Non-Speaking Time

387          5.13

Caucasian
Non-Speaking Time

387          9.78

t = -5.877, p=.00





















Table 10
Mean Non-Speaking Time In Advertisements of
African Americans and Caucasians Within the
General Audience Program Index







General
Audience
Index
N            Mean

African American
Non-Speaking Time

422          2.27

Caucasian
Non-Speaking Time

422          12.61

t = -13.855, p=.00

bK

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