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THE SPENDING power of Britain’s black community is now worth an estimated £300 billion according to new research.
Data compiled by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), a trade and professional body for UK based media and marketing communication industry agencies, show that black and minority ethnic minority (BME) populations in Britain now wield vast spending power – a signal that they possess greater economic muscle.
This purchasing power is set to grow given that Britain is rapidly changing with a growing mixed race population, an ever increasing and upwardly mobile African population and a more affluent Asian population, where many Asians now earning more than white people.
Yet mainstream media and advertisers still largely ignore ethnic minorities, with data showing only one in 20 adverts last year featured someone from an ethnic background.
In addition, these communities are often subjected to negative stereotypes or dismissed as being hard to target, despite being big spenders, said the study called 2012 Multicultural Britain.
“Britain’s ethnic minorities are younger than the rest of the country, they are more urban, they are keener to buy and use new technology and their purchasing power is growing,” said the IPA in its new report, released last Thursday (October 11).
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Ann Griffin, co-director of the African and Caribbean Business Experience, welcomed the new data, saying it confirmed trends her organisations have noticed.
Griffin told The Voice that the study “very much reflects the trends that we are aware of and are actively trying to promote via our work with the diaspora community and diaspora business community.
“We are aware of many high profile professionals but this is not the image that the media wants to promote. This is a real opportunity to start addressing some of the negative stereotypes…”
“The story is now clear and backed up by credible evidence from a reputable organisation. Black and ethnic minority consumers are clearly a valuable market and should be prepared to make their voices heard, demanding relevant and appropriate goods and services as they have the financial clout to back up their demands.”
Griffin, who co-organised a high profile African Caribbean Business Expo to link black businesses across the UK, Africa and the Caribbean in August, continued: “This is a perfect opportunity for the black community to begin to demand that they are taken seriously, not only in the design of goods and services to meet their specific needs or desires and to influence manufacturers/retail etcetera but also in ensuring they are targeted more in advertising and shown to be role models for people to aspire towards.”
She added: “It is also interesting how many of the high end products – BMW, new technology etc – that rely on the BAME consumer. This needs to be recognised and celebrated in marketing and media.”