Media agencies trying to reach Britain's ethnic minorities may be relying too heavily on specialist media, according to state ad unit COI Communications.

COI -- the administrative interface between the government and its roster of communications agencies -- will next week publish results from a three-month research project involving the UK's Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Chinese, black Caribbean and black African communities.

Although minority-targeted media like Asian TV stations offer an easy way to target these groups, the research found that mainstream outlets still deliver large audiences from ethnic communities.

"Media planning has to be more sophisticated. You can't just put something in specialist media and feel you've ticked the box," declared COI.

"We've found mainstream media and specialist media should sit together in media planning terms. This audience is a lot more complex than people might have thought previously."

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