Statement of Commissioner Mozelle W.
AAF/FCC Announcement on Diversity and Multicultural Advertising
April 21, 1999
I am pleased to offer my congratulations to FCC Chairman Bill Kennard, the American Advertising Federation (AAF) and its members being honored today in taking a first important step in addressing 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.
Specifically, I hope that other ad agencies will emulate the leadership of True North Communications, which today becomes the first ad agency holding company to form a unit dedicated to multicultural media buying. True North Communications will also be the first ad agency holding company to endorse the Kennard/FCC Principles on fairness in communications.
The AAF is also to be commended for the formation of a committee which will examine multicultural advertising practices, and I look forward to working with committee co-chairs David Bell from True North Communications and Bob Wehling from Procter & Gamble.
The FTC has benefitted from over 30 years of experience in working with the advertising industry to monitor unsubstantiated and deceptive practices. They have been remarkably effective in developing self-regulatory mechanisms to guard against such behavior and the steps they are taking today are a beginning toward cooperation to prevent the type of offensive conduct described in the FCC report. The Commission is participating in the joint task force announced by Vice President Gore that is examining these practices and their impact on minority broadcasters' and minority advertising agencies' ability to compete and prosper in the marketplace.
I hope that today's announcement will show advertisers, agencies and broadcasters alike that making ad placement decisions based on racial or ethnic stereotypes is not only wrong, it is bad business because it deprives everyone from the opportunities provided by serving all of America's consumers.