It didn’t take long—only a day after David Honig, President and Executive Director of the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council fired off a letter to FCC Chair Julius Genachowski reasserting that the Commission address nondiscrimination in ad sales contracts (no urban/no Spanish dictates–NUDs and NSDs), and citing a recent NUD with Mini Cooper, Mini’s Trudy Hardy resolved the issue via letter to Sherman K. Kizart Managing Director, Kizart Media Partners. Palisades Media’s (which did the buy) CEO Roger Schaffner also contacted Kizart (also below) with an apology.
See the letter below:
Sherman K. Kizart
Kizart Media Partners
2313 West Harrison
Chicago, IL 60612
Dear Mr. Kizart,
Thank you very much for taking the time to speak to me today over the phone. I appreciate your bringing this situation to my attention. I also need to apologize for this error in judgment and the inappropriate actions of Palisades Media. Our goal at MINI is to reach a diverse audience and we have always included all program formats as part of our media buys. It is our intent with this buy as well to broaden that reach for MINI across our major markets.
We are taking immediate steps to correct the situation. MINI’s buying instructions have never excluded any program format, however, the media buying agency, made an error in this instance. Urban formats have been a part of MINI’s media mix in the past and will continue to be part of our mix in the future. We have asked Palisades to reissue the correct buying instructions immediately. Secondly, we will take corrective action with Palisades to make sure this never happens again. I will keep you informed as the situation evolves.
I hope that you will accept our sincerest apologies and rest assured, we are taking the necessary course of action to resolve this matter promptly.
MINI Marketing Director
MINI USA, a division of BMW of North America, LLC
MINI USA: Jim McDowell, Vice President
Palisades Media: Roger Shaffner & Barbara Stein
Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners: Greg Stern, CEO
AAAA: Nancy Hill & Adonis Hoffman
Radio-One: Barry Mayo, Alfred Liggins, Bruce Demps & Douglas Abernethy
National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters: Jim Winston
Spotset Network: Howard Robertson
Response from Palisades CEO Palisades CEO Roger Schaffner:
Dear Mr. Kizart:
Palisades Media does not and has never had a policy of not considering media targeted to African Americans on any schedules we have placed.
Nor has Palisades Media ever received direction from Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners to exclude any media targeted to African Americans on any schedules placed on behalf of MINI or any other client.
Most certainly, MINI has never directed the exclusion of any media formats targeted to African Americans on any schedules in support of their marketing efforts.
What occurred that raised this issue was one buyer who decided to write in her avails request that “Urban formats for radio should not be included”. She mistakenly did this on her own and not through any directive from Palisades Media personnel, or Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners personnel or MINI personnel. This was a single, isolated incident that we have taken steps to make sure does not repeat itself in the future in any department of our company.
We regret any problems this has caused you, our agency partner or MINI.
ROGER A. SCHAFFNER
Roger A. Schaffner