Multicultural Marketing Vet Cynthia Perkins-Roberts Dies


As VP of Multicultural Marketing and Sales Development for the Video Advertising Bureau, Cynthia Perkins-Roberts became renown as a respected expert on the multicultural marketplace.

That’s why many in the advertising, marketing and media world are mourning the loss of Perkins-Roberts, who died Jan. 1 of cancer.

Prior to joining the VAB, Perkins-Roberts held sales positions of increasing responsibility with Discovery Communications and Capital Cities/ABC. But, it is her work at the New York-based VAB for which she will be likely most remembered for.

Perkins-Roberts is the brains behind the VAB’s forthcoming online marketing resource, featuring research and insights from more than 30 researchers, marketers, and media outlets; case studies highlighting best practices in marketing to blacks; and a guide to the cable networks and programming options for reaching this consumer segment.

Her key accomplishments include initiating multicultural marketing alliances among cable networks, agencies, advertisers and research companies. She has also served as co-chair of the Advertising Women of New York’s (AWNY) Multicultural Alliance, as well as her many contributions to the ANA’s Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM).

VAB President/CEO Sean Cunningham led the tributes in her honor.

“On New Year’s Day, we lost a leading visionary and one of the best in the industry when the VAB’s Cynthia Perkins-Roberts passed away,” Cunningham said. “Cynthia knew only one way to do anything of importance – she put her full heart and soul into it all. There was great power in the depth of Cynthia’s unwavering commitment, whether it was to her family, at her church, with her trove of cherished friends, or in all the advances she drove in multicultural marketing. You always knew Cynthia would never settle for just ‘a job well done,’ because nothing was ever done with Cynthia until something remarkable was achieved.”

ANA Group EVP Bill Duggan also offered a tribute to Perkins-Roberts.

“I remember Cynthia as being a passionate advocate of multicultural marketing,” he says. “She established and led the VAB’s strategy and outreach to multicultural markets. CableWorld magazine named Cynthia as one of the Most Influential Minorities in Cable, and she was a member of the Nielsen African-American Television Advisory Council. The advertising industry owes a debt of appreciation to Cynthia for her role in increasing the profile of multicultural marketing and demonstrating its business case.”

Perkins-Roberts is survived by her husband, Jeffery, and daughters Jessica and Lexi, who are of college age.

A public viewing will be held Thursday (1/10) from 7-9pm at the chapel of the Carl C Burnett Funeral Home, 456 S. Franklin St., in Hempstead, N.Y.

The funeral service is set for Jan. 11 at 10:30am, with public viewing from 8am, at Zio Cathedral church of God in Christ, 312 Grand Ave., Freeport, N.Y.

Donations to honor Cynthia’s legacy may be made to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center or Cedarmore Corporation – Enriching the Lives of Youth, One Day at a Time.

RBR+TVBR OBSERVATION: We collectively mourn the loss of Cynthia, who worked with Adam Jacobson for many years on multicultural marketing projects and, more recently, on television industry reports for RBR+TVBR. She will very much be missed by everyone at this publication.