Statement of Commissioner Mozelle W. Thompson, U.S. Federal Trade Commission, American Advertising Federation Roundtable on Diversity and Multicultural Advertising

Statement of Commissioner Mozelle W. Thompson, U.S. Federal Trade Commission

For Release

I am pleased to be here today with the American Advertising Federation and my good friend Chairman Bill Kennard of the FCC to have a frank discussion of the issues raised in the FCC's report, "When Being Number One isn't Enough: The Impact of Advertising Practices on Minority-Owned and Formatted Stations."

This report represents an important first step in shining a spotlight on the troubling practice of advertisers excluding minority and urban format radio stations when making ad purchase decisions. Making ad placement decisions based on racial or ethnic stereotyping is not only wrong, it is bad business because it deprives companies from the opportunity to serve one of America's fastest growing demographic segments.

We look forward to participating in the joint task force announced today by Vice President Gore that will further examine these practices and their impact on minority broadcasters' and minority advertising agencies' ability to compete and prosper in the marketplace.

The advertising industry, especially the AAF, should be applauded for taking this issue seriously. I have every confidence that the industry, who are among the nation's most creative, will be able to find solutions to ensure competitive markets for all Americans. The FTC has benefitted from over 30 years of experience in working with the advertising industry to monitor unfair and deceptive practices. They have been remarkably effective in developing self-regulatory mechanisms to guard against such behavior and today I issue them a challenge to work together in a similar fashion to prevent the type of discriminatory behavior described in the FCC report.

 

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