The campaign by Britain's Institute of Practitioners in Advertising to boost the number of actors from ethnic minorities featured in TV commercials and print campaigns has resulted in a better than threefold increase over the last year.

Research jointly released by the IPA and Extreme Media shows that in January 2003 some two per cent of campaigns featured actors from Afro-Asian backgrounds; by November the figure had risen to 7%.

Says Jonathan Mildenhall, co-chair of the IPA's ethnic diversity project: " The big innovation last year was the coining of the phrase brown pound and we've had a stonking year getting people to be more confident in casting ethnic minority faces in non-stereotypical roles."

According to the most recent UK census in 2001, the proportion of minority ethnic groups in England rose from six per cent to nine per cent of the population. The IPA argues that ethnic minorities have more disposable income than ever before, totally some £32 billion ($59.22bn; €46.25bn).

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff