The FCC recently released an eagerly awaited order on how it will enforce the FCC order on discriminatory advertising practices in the broadcast sector. What does this mean? Advertising discrimination in broadcast radio and television has been so common and prevalent that the industry created a term for it in Urban Radio. These practices are commonly referred to as NUDS or No Urban Dictates.
No Urban and No Hispanic Dictates rob African American and Hispanic targeted and owned radio stations conservatively of $300 million in advertising revenue each year.
During my 15 years at Interep, an important part of my day to day responsibilities focused on “turning around No Urban Dictates” for the benefit of the company’s 200 Urban Radio station clients.
Interestingly enough, the national advertisers that were the biggest offenders were names of major corporations that African American consumers do business with every day in buying these companies products and services. Everyone should remember the attention focused on Comp USA and its No Urban Dictate practices and how Tom Joyner helped to focus national attention by driving his listeners to call Comp USA. The net result was that Comp USA began to utilize Urban Radio as a part of its advertising and marketing strategy.
FCC Commissioners Robert McDowell and Jonathan Adelstein were so concerned about No Urban and No Hispanic Dictates that they asked me to coordinate and lead an effort to help eliminate the practice of No Urban and No Hispanic Dictate.
This effort consisted of minority targeted and owned broadcasters, ad industry associations, and FCC staffers. Our efforts produced a historic ground-breaking new policy from the Media Board of the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As) appropriately named The Top Down Policy.
The 4As Top Down Policy simply created access of C-Suite advertisers and agency executives for minority radio executives to address and eliminate suspected No Urban and No Hispanic Dictates.
The 4As Top Down Policy has helped direct millions of dollars back to the coffers of America’s Urban and Hispanic targeted and owned radio stations and rightfully so.
The FCC’s recent announcement regarding advertising discrimination enforcement AND dedicated FCC staffers in this area is a much needed and ongoing boost to help eliminate the practice of No Urban Dictates.
Since the launch of Kizart Media Partners in 2009, an important part of my company’s mission is to work aggressively with the ad industry in partnership and support of minority targeted and owned broadcasters to eliminate No Urban and No Hispanic Dictates.
As I write this opt-ed piece, there are several suspected No Urban and No Hispanic Dictates on my desk. National marketers and their advertising agency partners continue to exclude African American and Hispanic American radio and television from advertising buys.
The FCC’s decision to devote more resources and personnel to combat this issue rightfully keeps the proper spotlight on an issue to still robs Urban and Hispanic broadcasters of hundreds of millions in ad revenue.
The Ad industry, all broadcasters, and the FCC can and must continue to work together now and in the future to eliminate advertiser discrimination.
–Sherman K. Kizart, Managing Director
Kizart Media Partners
(312)421-4803 – office
(312)371-4127 – cell