NEW YORK: Brands and agencies are not doing enough to tap the lucrative African-American market and, in part, that is because they haven’t recruited or retained sufficiently diverse talent, according to a new report.

Bold Culture, a multicultural communications agency based in New York, warns in its new “black paper” that the industry has for too long produced culturally tone-deaf ads while most agencies continue to rely on white males in senior leadership roles.

Biana Bakman, the company’s Chief Operating Officer, told Adweek that research for its self-styled “black paper” had unearthed “a lot of fantastic data” with insights that would be “digestible” for everyone in the industry.

For example, the Bold Culture research found that America’s 11.5m black millennials could be the most important demographic to target on social media because 55% of these consumers spend an hour or more a day there.

Almost a third (29%) spend more than three hours a day on social media, the report added, while black consumers are said to be 96% more likely than their white counterparts to be influenced by celebrity endorsements when making a purchase.

By way of example, Bold Culture highlighted Donald Glover’s acceptance speech at the 2017 Golden Globes when the actor and singer praised rap group Migos and their song, “Bad & Bougie”.

The song then quickly rose in the charts, eventually reaching Number One, leading Bold Culture to urge marketing executives to “take note” of the “potential power of influence”.

Darren Martin, founder and CEO of Bold Culture, also told Adweek that the company works with brands, such as Netflix, and agencies to help them target multicultural consumers and retain diverse talent. “To reach, resonate and retain is our approach to everything,” he said.

Sourced from Adweek; additional content by WARC staff