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Can English Language Media Connect with Ethnic Audiences Ethnic

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Can English Language Media Connect with Ethnic Audiences Ethnic

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									                                     Can English Language Media Connect with
                                     Ethnic Audiences? Ethnic Minorities’ Media
                                     Use and Representation Perceptions


CARRIE LA FERLE                      With the size of ethnic minority groups expanding and their disposable income increas-
Michigan State
                                     ing, the consumption landscape and media environment are constantly evolving. It is
   University
laferlec@msu.edu                     important for advertisers to understand how ethnic minority group members feel about
                                     being targeted by current multicultural marketing communication practices and if En-
WEI-NA LEE
The University of Texas
                                     glish language media for the general market are still a good way to reach these consum-
   at Austin                         ers. Past research has often employed a content analysis technique to gauge instances
weina@mail.utexas.edu
                                     of ethnic minority representation in advertising. However, a void exists in the literature
                                     with respect to examining how ethnic minorities actually feel about tactics and mes-
                                     sages directed at them. Therefore a cross-cultural survey of adults in three ethnic
                                     groups in the United States was carried out to examine these attitudes and also to as-
                                     sess current media use patterns. The results suggest that English broadcast media are
                                     still a good way to reach people across the various groups. The study further reveals
                                     that attitudes toward the frequency and accuracy of these groups as portrayed in adver-
                                     tisements are somewhat different from the negative viewpoints historically found in the
                                     literature. In fact, the results suggest that today’s advertisements are not considered
                                     inadequate or inaccurate by many and that efforts toward targeting ethnic minorities are
                                     potentially welcomed. However, a bi-modal distribution across several representation
                                     issues indicates that advertisers must still be cautious in the minds of some ethnic
                                     minority consumers. Implications for advertisers and media planners are discussed as
                                     well as suggestions for future research.



                                     INTRODUCTION                                         media outlets have also been slowly increasing,
                                     TODAY,   ALMOST A QUARTER   of Americans identify    along with the frequency of ethnic representation
                                     themselves as “something other than white alone,”    in the general media and in advertisements (Kang
                                     and this growing group controls nearly $900 bil-     and Lee Advertising, 1999; Taylor and Stern, 1997;
                                     lion in annual consumer spending (Raymond, 2001).    Wilkes and Valencia, 1989). However, a major
                                     Due to their growth in number and attractive         concern facing advertisers now is the possibility
                                     disposable income, advertisers have begun to fine    that historical criticisms directed at limited or
Authors are listed alphabetically.   tune their strategies at targeting ethnic minority   stereotypical advertising content involving minor-
Both authors contributed equally     groups (Holland and Gentry, 1999). During the        ities (Westerman, 1989; Wilson and Guitierrez,
to this article.                     past two decades, ethnic-oriented and in-language    1995) may have created a negative atmosphere for

140      JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING RESEARCH   March 2005                                                     DOI: 10.1017/S002184990505004X
                                                                         ENGLISH LANGUAGE MEDIA CONNECT WITH ETHNIC AUDIENCES




. . . as in-language media continues to grow, some have                                          According to the U.S. Census Bureau
                                                                                               (2002), African Americans made up al-
come to question the usefulness of general market En-                                          most 13 percent of the U.S. population, or
                                                                                               36 million people. Target Market News re-
glish language media channels to reach consumers from                                          ported that African Americans contrib-
                                                                                               uted to $543 billion in consumer spending
ethnic minority groups.                                                                        in 2000 (Raymond, 2001). Hispanic Amer-
                                                                                               icans make up 13 percent of the U.S. pop-
                                                                                               ulation (http://www.census.gov) and are
these consumers to receive current multi-       sentation in the media and (2) if the          the largest minority group in the United
cultural marketing communication ef-            historical criticisms have created a gener-    States. Projections from the 1990 Census
forts. Similarly, as in-language media          ally negative attitude among ethnic minor-     indicate that Hispanic Americans will reach
continues to grow, some have come to            ity consumers and thus a difficult media       approximately 20 percent of the U.S. pop-
question the usefulness of general market       environment within which a rejection of        ulation by 2020. Hispanic Americans are
English language media channels to reach        “mainstream” English language media out-       said to account for approximately 7 per-
consumers from ethnic minority groups           lets may exist. To address these issues, Af-   cent of total consumer spending in the
(NCM.com, 2005).                                rican and Hispanic Americans were selected     United States with an estimated $458 bil-
  Although extensive research since the         as the focus of a study as they represent      lion in annual spending in 2000 (Financial
1960s has generally acknowledged improve-       the largest ethnic minority populations in     Times, 1999).
ments in the portrayals of minorities in        the United States, and these groups have         Clearly, the size, growth rates and buy-
advertising, scholars and practitioners         been receiving a significant amount of at-     ing power of these two major ethnic
alike still suggest a need for more frequent    tention from marketers (Minority Markets       minority groups indicate significant op-
and more positive portrayals, along with        Alert IX, 1997).                               portunities for marketers. Previously,
a broader range of roles and a greater de-                                                     marketers have focused on achieving mass
gree of accuracy in the portrayals (Taylor      SIZE, GROWTH RATES, AND                        appeal to mass audiences while by-
and Bang, 1997). Some have suggested that       PURCHASING POWER                               passing specific ethnic minority groups
ethnic media—that is, culturally relevant       Today, there are just over 281 million Amer-   (Wilson and Guitierrez, 1995). Today, tech-
and/or in-language media—may be a bet-          icans in the United States and nearly one      nological advances as well as diversity
ter means for successfully reaching and rep-    in four claims to have non-European eth-       improvements among industry partici-
resenting ethnic minority consumers than        nicities (U.S. Census Bureau, 2002). In some   pants have led to new possibilities. These
general market English language media           of the nation’s largest cities (e.g., New      changes, combined with demographic
(Kalita, 2005; NCM.com, 2005; Yin, 2002)        York City, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C.,      shifts in the United States, could prove
  With increasing improvements of minor-        Atlanta) more than half of the residents       mutually beneficial for marketers and con-
ity portrayals in general media and the de-     are nonwhites, and in some cases up to 70      sumers. But how well are marketers tak-
velopment of ethnic media, one area that        percent of a large city’s population con-      ing on these new challenges? Are they
has been largely overlooked in the litera-      sists of minorities. This demographic shift    allocating sufficient efforts and budget to
ture has been how ethnic minorities actu-       is predicted to continue with non-European     adequately connect with these consumer
ally feel about portrayals of themselves in     ethnicities expected to exceed 50 percent      groups and represent them appropriately?
advertising (Green, 1999; Grier and Brum-       of the U.S. population by the middle of
baugh, 1999; Holland and Gentry, 1999). At-     this century (U.S. Census Bureau, 2002).       REACHING ETHNIC MINORITIES:
titudes such as these help form the media       Therefore, to ensure effective marketing       ADVERTISING SPENDING AND MEDIA
environment that in turn determines ad-         communication, it is necessary that mar-       PREFERENCES
vertising message effectiveness. A mean-        keters understand all aspects of the vari-     In a study requested by the Association of
ingful research agenda relevant to today’s      ous ethnic minority groups, ranging from       Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA),
media landscape should therefore be to find     their size and spending power to media         it was found that to effectively reach the
out (1) if ethnic minorities desire more rep-   use patterns and beliefs regarding market-     Hispanic market, given their media con-
resentation and/or more accurate repre-         ing efforts.                                   sumption habits and language prefer-

                                                                                        March 2005   JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING RESEARCH   141
ENGLISH LANGUAGE MEDIA CONNECT WITH ETHNIC AUDIENCES




Some of the obstacles in reaching the ethnic minority                                         garded as reality by society (Pollay, 1986;
                                                                                              Taylor and Stern, 1997). When negative
markets can be attributed to differences in language,                                         perceptions and a distrust of the media
                                                                                              are accepted by ethnic minorities, the en-
cultural preferences, and/or media use patterns.                                              vironment can become an obstacle to suc-
                                                                                              cessful media campaigns.
                                                                                                Research to date on the portrayals of
                                                                                              ethnic minorities in advertisements has
ences, at least 8 percent of an advertiser’s    municating with these minority groups         mostly used content analyses to assess
budget should be devoted to Hispanic            based on language preferences and de-         numerical frequencies and stereotypical
advertising and marketing (AHAA, 2002).         sires for culturally relevant or in-culture   images of ethnic minority members in
In contrast, the study found that on aver-      media. English language media options         advertisements (Bristor, Lee, and Hunt,
age and over a three-year period (1999–         and the use of them in strategic planning     1995; Kassarjian, 1969; Taylor and Bang,
2001) only 2.4 percent of media advertising     therefore come into question. However,        1997; Wilkes and Valencia, 1989; Zinkhan,
resources had been spent by America’s           given current sizes, growth rates, spend-     Qualls, and Biswas, 1990). Direct survey-
leading advertisers to reach the Hispanic       ing power, and the heightened media use       ing of ethnic minority consumer attitudes
market. Similarly, while the African Amer-      patterns of Hispanic and African Ameri-       has rarely been undertaken (Holland and
ican market has grown in size and dispos-       can consumers (AHAA, 2002; Cabletvad-         Gentry, 1999).
able income, advertisers have not been as       bureau.com, 2002; Williams and Tharp,           In a content analysis by Taylor and
fast to respond. According to Ken Smikle,       2001), it is important to understand their    Bang (1997), Hispanics were found to be
president of Target Market News, advertis-      media use patterns of English language        under-represented as a proportion of the
ing spending targeting African Americans        media and their attitudes toward the por-     population in magazine advertising. Tay-
was estimated to just reach $1.8 billion for    trayals in advertisements. A clear under-     lor and Bang’s findings were consistent
2004 (Price, 2005). For a rough compari-        standing of these habits, along with          with earlier studies of Hispanic represen-
son, advertising spending in the United         opinions about being targeted by market-      tation in television programs and televi-
States for 2004 was projected to total $263.7   ers, will help make better media decisions    sion commercials (Greenberg and Bapista-
billion by Robert Coen of Universal Mc-         and ensure the effective communication        Fernandez, 1980; Wilkes and Valencia,
Cann (Price, 2005).                             of advertising messages.                      1989). African Americans have also been
  Some of the obstacles in reaching the eth-                                                  underrepresented in advertising but have
nic minority markets can be attributed to       FROM STEREOTYPICAL PORTRAYALS                 been gaining in visibility over the years
differences in language, cultural prefer-       TO PERCEPTION                                 relative to the early work of Kassarjian
ences, and/or media use patterns (Cablet-       The issue of ethnic representation is im-     (1969). However, instead of assessing
vadbureau.com, 2002). For example,              portant because in a media-dominated so-      ethnic minority attitudes regarding the
Hispanic American consumers enjoy both          ciety, such as the United States, people      plethora of advertisements that are expe-
English and Spanish language media op-          often rely on the media to portray and        rienced on a daily basis, most often as-
tions. Unfortunately, preference varies by      define those things they have not experi-     sumptions have been made suggesting
many different variables such as length of      enced for themselves. To provide an effi-     that when representations appear limited
time in the United States, language ability,    cient path to cultural understanding, mass    or narrow, negative attitudes must natu-
type of information required, age, and so       media employ stereotypes as a conve-          rally follow. This line of reasoning has
on (Cabletvadbureau.com, 2002; Halliday,        nient categorization tool. The stereotypi-    also given some support for the use of
2001). African Americans too can choose be-     cal images found in media messages are        ethnic over general market media when
tween general media networks or those tai-      easily accepted because they are usually      advertising to ethnic minorities (Um-
lored more narrowly to the African              simple and have little ambiguity. How-        stead, 2004).
American market such as Black Entertain-        ever, they also can have negative conse-        Since the 1960s improvements have been
ment Television (BET).                          quences, particularly for some ethnic         occurring in the representation of ethnic
  It has long been acknowledged that care-      minority members, when distorted im-          minorities in advertisements, but many
ful considerations are called for when com-     ages are repeated and come to be re-          believe there is still more to be done (Bris-

142   JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING RESEARCH   March 2005
                                                                      ENGLISH LANGUAGE MEDIA CONNECT WITH ETHNIC AUDIENCES




tor, Lee, and Hunt, 1995; Wilson and Guit-   THE STUDY                                     were on site to help trouble-shoot inciden-
ierrez, 1995). An investigation into how     A study examining Anglo, African, and         tal problems. Each of the three groups
ethnic minorities feel about images of       Hispanic Americans was undertaken in          had at least one interviewer matching the
themselves being presented in advertise-     Houston, Texas. Houston was deemed suit-      dominant ethnicity of the neighborhood.
ments, as well as their attitudes toward     able for this cross-cultural research with    The overall refusal rate was low, at about
being targeted by marketing communica-       its ethnically diverse population consist-    9 percent. Of those who were approached,
tion efforts is necessary to advance the     ing of 52.7 percent Anglo American, and       97 percent of the African Americans, 96.5
literature and help marketers better as-     an almost equal distribution between Af-      percent of Hispanic Americans, and 80
sess where they stand and their media        rican Americans (28.1 percent) and His-       percent of Anglo Americans participated
choices (Strutton and Lumpkin, 1993; Tan,    panic Americans (27.6 percent). The goal      in the study.
Fujioka, and Tan, 2000).                     of the research was to examine consumer         A total sample of 871 respondents was
  Therefore, a direct inquiry to members     attitudes toward ethnic representation in     collected, with 294 Anglo Americans (33.7
of Hispanic, African American, and An-       the media, in particular, marketing-related   percent), 289 African Americans (33.2 per-
glo American groups was carried out          activities. Specifically, the study was de-   cent), and 288 Hispanic Americans (33.1
as to assess their English language me-      signed to measure attitudes toward the        percent). Respondents’ ages ranged from
dia use patterns and their attitudes to-     frequency of ethnic representation, the ac-   17 to 55 years and over. Fifty-seven per-
ward ethnic representation in marketing      curacy of representation, and the desire      cent of respondents were female, 46 per-
communications. The main research ques-      for ethnic representation in corporate mar-   cent were married, 26 percent were college
tions addressed in the study were as         keting communication efforts. English me-     educated, and 77 percent of respondents
follows:                                     dia use patterns were also examined across    had a household income of $45,000 or
                                             the groups to help set a context and to       less. Table 1 provides a breakdown of
1. How often is English language media       assess the frequency of general market        demographics by ethnic group.
  used and how might the patterns vary       media consumption.
  by ethnic group?                                                                         Measures
2. What is the perception of representa-     METHOD                                        The survey consisted of three main sec-
  tion of each ethnic group, by each eth-    Sample                                        tions. The first part asked respondents to
  nic group, in advertisements? Will         Census track information and The Source-      indicate how much time in a typical week-
  Anglo Americans perceive a greater fre-    book of Zip Code Demographics were used       day they spent with English language me-
  quency of representation in advertise-     in the selection of zip codes for data col-   dia. Specifically, respondents were asked
  ments for their ethnic group than          lection sites in Houston. Specific ethnic     to answer the question in relation to the
  African and Hispanic Americans?            shopping malls/areas were then located        following four media categories: time spent
3. What is the attitude toward the accu-     within selected zip code regions. Quotas      watching English TV, listening to English
  racy of representation of each ethnic      were assigned to each data collection site.   radio, reading English newspapers, and
  group, by each ethnic group, in adver-     Field workers were instructed to ran-         reading English magazines.
  tisements? Again, will Anglo Ameri-        domly approach prospective respondents.         In light of the differences in media of-
  cans have more favorable attitudes         Once consent was obtained, the field          ferings, both linguistically and culturally,
  toward the accuracy of representation      worker handed over the questionnaire for      only general market English language me-
  of their ethnic group in advertise-        the respondents to fill out in a self-        dia were used as the bases for compari-
  ments over African and Hispanic            administered manner. Each respondent was      son between the two ethnic minority
  Americans?                                 offered $1 as an incentive/appreciation       groups. This focus allowed respondents
4. How do people feel about ethnic-          for participation upon turning in a com-      to individually take into account their own
  oriented marketing communications by       pleted questionnaire. Hispanic respon-        media habits that may or may not have
  corporate America in general? Is there     dents were given the choice of filling out    included in-culture media selections such
  more or less desire for ethnic-oriented    the survey in English or Spanish.             as programs on BET that may be more
  corporate marketing communications by        Field workers were carefully chosen         culturally relevant to African Americans.
  Anglo Americans compared to African        (they were bi-lingual in Spanish and En-      As the main focus of the study was on
  and Hispanic Americans?                    glish) and trained. Two field supervisors     attitudes toward target market practices

                                                                                    March 2005    JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING RESEARCH   143
ENGLISH LANGUAGE MEDIA CONNECT WITH ETHNIC AUDIENCES




TABLE 1                                                                                                                                                         the more favorable the attitude toward
                                                                                                                                                                representation in advertising. In the final
Demographic Statistics by Ethnic Group*
                                                                                                                                                                part of the survey, respondents were asked
                                                                    Anglo                        African                       Hispanic                         to answer several demographic questions
                                                                    American                     American                      American                         on gender, age, education, marital status,
.............................................................................................................................................................   and income.
Number of respondents                                                294                          289                          288
.............................................................................................................................................................
Respondents gender                                                                                                                                              RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
    Male                                                             112 (38.1%)                  125 (43.3%)                  120 (41.7%)                      Media use
.............................................................................................................................................................
                                                                                                                                                                The first research question sought to as-
    Female                                                           176 (59.9)                   145 (50.2)                   160 (55.6)
.............................................................................................................................................................   sess how frequently English language me-
Education level                                                                                                                                                 dia was used by the different ethnic groups
    High school/below                                                  79 (26.9)                  109 (37.7)                   148 (51.4)
.............................................................................................................................................................   and if there were differences between the
    Technical and community college                                    91 (31.0)                    96 (33.2)                     67 (23.3)                     groups in their use patterns. Media use
.............................................................................................................................................................
                                                                                                                                                                by ethnic group was measured to provide
    Bachelor degree                                                    74 (25.2)                    44 (15.2)                     33 (11.5)
.............................................................................................................................................................
                                                                                                                                                                a context for assessing representation is-
    Master’s and Ph.D.                                                 36 (12.2)                    12 (4.2)                        7 (2.4)
.............................................................................................................................................................   sues and to examine how useful general
Age distribution                                                                                                                                                market media placements might be in light
    17 to 34                                                           93 (31.6)                  162 (56.1)                   159 (55.2)
.............................................................................................................................................................   of the buzz around “ethnic” media (Anon-
    35 to 54                                                         118 (40.1)                   100 (34.6)                      96 (35.3)                     ymous, 2005). For each medium, respon-
.............................................................................................................................................................
                                                                                                                                                                dents’ responses were collapsed into three
    55 and over                                                        76 (26.5)                       8 (3.0)                    17 (6.3)
.............................................................................................................................................................   categories of time spent with the me-
Marital status                                                                                                                                                  dium, 1 min to 59 min, 1 h to 2 h and
    Married                                                          160 (54.4)                     86 (29.8)                  151 (52.4)
.............................................................................................................................................................   59 min, and 3 h or more. As illustrated in
Income                                                                                                                                                          Figure 1, each ethnic group spent the most
    $25,000 or less                                                    65 (22.1)                  153 (52.9)                   167 (58.0)                       amount of time with broadcast media and
.............................................................................................................................................................
                                                                                                                                                                the least amount of time with print me-
    $25,001 to $45,000                                                 80 (27.2)                  100 (34.6)                      73 (25.3)
.............................................................................................................................................................
                                                                                                                                                                dia. However, chi-square tests found sig-
    $45,001 to $65,000                                                 59 (20.1)                    24 (8.3)                      26 (9.0)
.............................................................................................................................................................   nificant differences between the groups in
    $65,001 or more                                                    70 (23.8)                       8 (2.8)                 5 (1.7)
.............................................................................................................................................................   time spent with television, radio, and mag-
*Raw numbers are listed. Percentages are in parentheses.                                                                                                        azines. No significant differences were
                                                                                                                                                                found between the groups on use of news-
                                                                                                                                                                papers. All groups spent very little time
                                                                                                                                                                during an average weekday reading
and use of more general market media                                              and Tharp, 2001). Respondents were asked                                      newspapers.
habits, and the two groups differed with                                          to answer six Likert-type statements de-                                        Similar to previous reports of English
one having a second language, this pro-                                           veloped from the literature. Each item                                        language media habits (Cabletvadbureau.
cedure was deemed appropriate for the                                             was measured on a 5-point scale an-                                           com, 2002; Delener and Neelankavil, 1990),
goals at hand.                                                                    chored by strongly agree to strongly dis-                                     African Americans were found to engage
   The second part of the questionnaire                                           agree. Examples of the statements include,                                    in television viewing and radio listening
measured attitudes toward representation                                          “There are lots of people from my ethnic                                      activities for longer periods of time than
of one’s own ethnic group and desire for                                          group in the ads I see,” “Families in ads                                     the other two groups. Fifty-one percent of
corporate ethnic sponsorship. Items for                                           don’t seem like my family,” and “I would                                      African Americans reported watching 3 h
this part of the measurement were gener-                                          recommend branded products to others                                          or more of television during a typical
ated from past research on social market-                                         in my ethnic group if the company sup-                                        weekday in comparison to 39.2 percent
ing and ethnic community development                                              ports our group.” All statements were re-                                     of Anglo Americans and 32.4 percent of
(Campanelli, 1991; Gegax, 1997; Williams                                          coded to reflect the higher the number                                        Hispanic Americans. With respect to lis-

144       JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING RESEARCH                        March 2005
                                                                        ENGLISH LANGUAGE MEDIA CONNECT WITH ETHNIC AUDIENCES




Figure 1 Time Spent with English Language Media by Ethnic Group and Medium


tening to the radio, 47.1 percent of Afri-    guage print media over English language         watch a fair amount of English language
can Americans, 38.5 percent of Hispanic       options (Koslow, Shamdasani, and Touch-         TV and listen to English language radio
Americans, and 37.2 percent of Anglo          stone, 1994).                                   and could thus be reached through these
Americans spent 3 h or more with this           In general and among English lan-             channels as well. Therefore, media buys
medium. Almost 60 percent of all groups       guage media, the results clearly suggest        in general media outlets with English as
reported spending less than 1 h during a      that broadcast is still one of the best meth-   the dominant language are still important
typical weekday reading English lan-          ods for reaching different ethnic groups        to consider for media planners.
guage newspapers or magazines. It is also     at the same time. African Americans spend         However, print as a medium for com-
interesting to note that approximately 27     considerably greater amounts of time with       munication is more complex across vari-
percent of Hispanics did not read English     television and radio and, therefore, media      ous groups. The market is more fragmented
newspapers or magazines. This finding         planners that heavily focus their efforts in    and preferences vary to a larger degree
may support earlier reports indicating that   broadcast should effectively reach this         among the three different ethnic groups. In
Hispanics may prefer reading Spanish lan-     group. Similarly, Hispanic Americans also       this study, none of the groups spent a lot of

                                                                                       March 2005    JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING RESEARCH   145
ENGLISH LANGUAGE MEDIA CONNECT WITH ETHNIC AUDIENCES




time with print in comparison to broad-                                           to assess the desire for being targeted in                                                         of ethnic group representation in adver-
cast. However, Hispanic Americans may                                             corporate marketing communications. Re-                                                            tisements appeared to exist across the three
prefer print material in Spanish language                                         sults by statement are presented in Table 2.                                                       ethnic groups.
media. Therefore, in trying to adequately                                             The second research question queried                                                                As the content analysis literature would
reach ethnic minority consumers, it would                                         whether there would be a difference be-                                                            suggest, Anglo Americans in this sample
seem that across all groups broadcast is best,                                    tween Anglo Americans and the other                                                                believed more strongly than the other
but that more research is needed to tease                                         two ethnic groups with respect to percep-                                                          groups that they were seen frequently in
out possible in-language and even in-culture                                      tions regarding the frequency of represen-                                                         advertisements. However, although An-
media preferences, particularly when deal-                                        tation in advertisements. On the statement,                                                        glo Americans more strongly believed in
ing with print.                                                                   “There are lots of people from my ethnic                                                           the frequency of their representation in
                                                                                  group in the ads I see,” significant differ-                                                       advertisements, all groups were quite neu-
Attitudes toward ethnic representation                                            ences were found between the groups                                                                tral with Hispanic Americans feeling they
Research questions 2 and 3 dealt with                                             (F2,860           8.61, p                .01). A Tukey test re-                                    were the least represented. This finding
ethnic representation issues. To examine                                          vealed significant differences between An-                                                         lends some support to the notion that
attitudes toward the frequency and accu-                                          glo Americans (mean                                    3.41) and both                              advertisers may have in fact improved
racy of ethnic group representation in ad-                                        African Americans (mean                                    3.02) and His-                          over the years on developing advertise-
vertisements, a series of one-way ANOVAs                                          panic Americans (mean                                  2.89). Thus, dif-                           ments that include and even target eth-
were conducted. ANOVAs were also used                                             ferences in perceptions as to the amount                                                           nic minorities (Minority Markets Alert X,




TABLE 2
Attitudes toward Representation and Desire for Marketing Communication Efforts
                                                                                                                             Group Means a
                                                                                               ............................................................................................
                                                                                               Anglo                              African                            Hispanic
Dependent Variable                                                                             American                    American                     American                    F Value               Tukey
................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
Representation
      There are lots of people from my ethnic group                                            3.41                               3.02                               2.89                           8.61**         ab, ac
        in the ads I see.
................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
      Families I see in ads don’t seem at all like my                                          2.60                               2.65                               2.99                           5.64**         ac, bc
        family.
................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
      The portrayal of my ethnic group in ads is                                               3.90                               3.29                               3.53                         12.28**          ab, ac
        offensive to me.
................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
      Ads that I see show my ethnic group as we                                                2.64                               2.89                               3.02                           4.48*          ac
        really are.
................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
Desire for marketing communication efforts
      I would recommend branded products to others                                             2.52                               3.61                               3.22                         37.96**          ab, ac, bc
         in my ethnic group if the company supports
        our group.
................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
      I am more likely to buy from a company that                                              2.05                               3.04                               2.81                         33.92**          ab, ac
         sponsors my ethnic festivals and sports
        events.
................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
a
    The mean scores represent: 1          strongly disagree to 5           strongly agree for statements #1, #4, and #6 and 1                                strongly agree to 5              strongly disagree for #2 and #3.


146        JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING RESEARCH                       March 2005
                                                                         ENGLISH LANGUAGE MEDIA CONNECT WITH ETHNIC AUDIENCES




1998; Wentz, 2001; Wilson and Guitier-          . . . advertisers may actually be improving on their treat-
rez, 1995).
  To assess attitudes toward the accuracy       ment of ethnic minorities in the eyes of these consumers.
of representation as raised in the third re-
search question, three statements were an-
alyzed that each addressed a different aspect
of representation. On the first statement,      responses, but for different reasons. In       vertisements do not present their ethnic
respondents were asked to indicate how          either case, more research is necessary to     group as they really exist. This finding
much they agreed with the statement, “Fam-      better assess the underlying factors influ-    again may support the notion that the
ilies in ads don’t seem like my family.” Sig-   encing the differing responses across the      greater the number of advertisements and
nificant differences were found between the     groups to this statement.                      portrayals of Anglo Americans, the less
groups (F2,853   5.64, p   .01). Although all       The second statement, “the portrayal of    any one consumer may identify with ad-
groups again hovered around neutral, Tukey      my ethnic group in ads is offensive to         vertisements being similar to him or her-
tests resulted in Anglo (mean      2.60) and    me,” found all groups disagreeing with         self. But, more research into this topic
African (mean      2.65) Americans signifi-     this statement. However, significant dif-      area is necessary to better understand
cantly agreeing with this statement more        ferences between the groups did exist          the underlying issues.
than Hispanic Americans (mean      2.99). An-   (F2,839   12.28, p   .0001). Anglo Ameri-        Summarizing the results from the series
glo Americans also agreed with this state-      cans (mean     3.90) disagreed significantly   of three questions pertaining to accurate
ment more than African Americans,               more with the statement than African           ethnic group representation, it can be seen
although not significantly. No other differ-    Americans (mean        3.29) and Hispanic      that advertisers may actually be improv-
ences were found. Therefore, Hispanic           Americans (mean        3.53). Thus, Anglo      ing on their treatment of ethnic minorities
Americans felt that families in advertise-      Americans felt more favorable toward the       in the eyes of these consumers. In regard
ments were more similar to their own in         acceptability of their ethnic group repre-     to the third research question, although
comparison to the other groups.                 sentation in advertisements in compari-        Anglo Americans were more favorable to-
  One explanation for this finding may          son to the other groups, although all          ward one of the three statements, Anglo
be attributed to the fact that the literature   groups did not find advertisements di-         Americans did not have more favorable
has generally found there to be more An-        rected at their own groups to be offen-        attitudes toward the accuracy and repre-
glo Americans used in advertisements,           sive. This finding again lends some support    sentation of their ethnic groups in adver-
followed by African Americans, with His-        to potential improvements by today’s ad-       tisements in comparison to the other two
panic Americans having the least repre-         vertisers in presenting more positive im-      groups. In fact, all groups were quite neu-
sentation of the three groups (Taylor, Lee,     ages across a variety of ethnic groups         tral with their responses. Although Afri-
and Stern, 1995; Wilkes and Valencia, 1989;     appearing in marketing communication           can Americans tended to be more favorable
Wilson and Guitierrez, 1995). Perhaps with      messages.                                      than Hispanic Americans, neither group
a greater variety of advertisements and             The last statement assessing the accu-     was overly negative to the accuracy or
portrayals, such as those found for Anglo       racy of representation of ethnic groups,       adequacy of their representation in adver-
Americans in particular, these consumers        “Ads that I see show my ethnic group as        tisements. Respectful portrayals of ethnic
may find more advertisements with which         we really are,” resulted in significant dif-   minority groups in advertisements may
to disagree. To appeal to the greatest num-     ferences between groups (F2,857        4.48,   lead consumers to have a stronger desire
ber of Hispanic Americans, a common             p     .05). Although all groups were fairly    to be targeted by these companies through
denominator strategy may be employed.           neutral toward this statement, Anglo           their marketing communication efforts.
Hispanic American advertising represen-         Americans (mean        2.64) disagreed sig-
tations may therefore be received as sim-       nificantly more with it than Hispanic          Attitudes toward corporate efforts
ilar to many Hispanic Americans’ lives          Americans (mean        3.02) and also dif-     Two statements were used to examine
and visions of reality. However, it may         fered from African Americans (mean             respondents’ attitudes toward the desire
also be the case that Anglo and African         2.89), but not significantly. Anglo Ameri-     for ethnic oriented corporate marketing
American responses were similarly nega-         cans in this sample believed significantly     communications. The first statement, “I
tive in comparison to Hispanic American         more than Hispanic Americans that ad-          would recommend branded products to

                                                                                        March 2005   JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING RESEARCH   147
ENGLISH LANGUAGE MEDIA CONNECT WITH ETHNIC AUDIENCES




others in my ethnic group if the company          Post hoc analyses                                 “Families I see in ads don’t seem at all like
supports our group,” resulted in signifi-         In light of the fairly neutral responses for      my family” (F       10.74, p   .001), gender
cant differences across groups (F2,851            the frequency and accuracy of representa-         and education were better predictors of re-
37.96, p    .0001). Tukey tests further in-       tion statements examined in this study,           sponses on the statement, “The portrayal
dicated that African Americans (mean              group item distributions were assessed to         of my ethnic group in ads is offensive to
3.61) and Hispanic Americans (mean                ensure an accurate reading of the results         me” (F    9.00, p     .001). Females and re-
3.22) were significantly more favorable           prior to making any final conclusions. As         spondents with higher levels of education
toward this statement than Anglo Ameri-           can be seen in Table 3, African and His-          were more likely to disagree with this state-
cans (mean       2.52). African Americans         panic American distributions were actu-           ment, indicating that they did not perceive
were also significantly more favorable to         ally quite “bimodal” for all questions. In        advertising portrayals of their ethnic groups
the idea of corporate support for their           other words, many African and Hispanic            as being offensive.
ethnic group than Hispanic Americans.             American respondents were split on the
    The second statement examining the            end points of the Likert-type scale indi-         MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS
desire of ethnic group representation in          cating divergent views of current adver-          Attitudes toward the representation of eth-
corporate efforts, “I am more likely to           tising representation practices. For example,     nic minorities in advertising and desires
buy from a company that sponsors my               while 46.9 percent of Anglo Americans,            for marketing communication were exam-
ethnic festivals and sports events,” found        35.8 percent of African Americans, and 47         ined along with English language media
a similar pattern of results (F2,843     33.92,   percent of Hispanic Americans strongly            use patterns. These are important issues
p     .0001). African (mean       3.04) and       disagreed with the statement, “The por-           to consider in light of the size, growth
Hispanic Americans (mean         2.81) were       trayal of my ethnic group in ads is offen-        rate, and purchasing power of Hispanic
significantly more likely to buy from com-        sive to me,” only 8.3 percent of Anglo            and African American consumer groups.
panies sponsoring their ethnic events than        Americans strongly agreed with this state-        To date, research in this area has mostly
Anglo Americans (mean           2.05). How-       ment in contrast to 21.6 percent and 22.2%        focused on representation issues through
ever, no other significant differences were       percent for African and Hispanic Ameri-           content analyses without finding out what
found. Based on the results of these two          can respondents respectively. A similar           ethnic minority consumers actually think.
statements related to the fourth research         pattern presented itself for other state-         Similarly, some have questioned the use-
question, it appears that Anglo Ameri-            ments such as “There are lots of people           fulness of general market media buys in
cans are less likely than African and His-        from my ethnic group in the ads I see,”           light of a growing ethnic media environ-
panic Americans to recommend or buy               and “Ads which I see show my ethnic               ment (Anonymous, 2005).
products based on corporate sponsorship           group as we really are.”                            Research presented in this study exam-
of their ethnic group.                              A series of stepwise regression analyses        ined the reactions of three ethnic groups
    These findings concur with previous           across the four attitudes toward ethnic rep-      to marketing communication efforts as well
literature suggesting a potential for higher      resentation statements were next under-           as their English language media use pat-
brand loyalty across ethnic minorities, par-      taken to better understand what factors were      terns. Specifically, the research focused on
ticularly African Americans, to compa-            most influencing the differing responses          comparing Anglo Americans with the two
nies that show recognition and support            across the three groups. Independent items        largest ethnic minority groups in the
group interests (Bauer and Cunningham,            used in the regression included ethnic            United States, African and Hispanic Amer-
1970; Wilkes and Valencia, 1989). These           group, education, income, age, gender, and        icans. The findings provided the follow-
results suggest that an effective way to          marital status. The results indicate that while   ing managerial implications.
reach ethnic minorities is by supporting          ethnicity can help to explain the distribu-
community programs, as well as ethnic             tion and differences between groups in some       Media planning
festivals and sporting events. Favorable          of the cases, other demographic variables         Ethnic media, defined as culturally rele-
word-of-mouth among ethnic minority               such as education, gender, and income may         vant media and/or in-language media pro-
members may be stimulated by corpo-               be more important. Regression analysis            grams and channels, are being positioned
rate support, thereby increasing the              results are shown in Table 4. For example,        by some as a better way to reach ethnic
strength and the number of relationships          while ethnicity was the most important            minority consumers (Anonymous, 2005).
with consumers in these groups.                   predictor of the dependent measure,               However, the present study suggests that

148    JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING RESEARCH   March 2005
                                                                                                                                             ENGLISH LANGUAGE MEDIA CONNECT WITH ETHNIC AUDIENCES




TABLE 3                                                                                                                                                                             bution found in regards to representation
                                                                                                                                                                                    issues, it may be that an integrated ap-
Percent Responding by Ethnic Group across Representation
                                                                                                                                                                                    proach that combines both general mar-
Items                                                                                                                                                                               ket and ethnic- or niche-oriented media is
                                                    Percent of Responses                                                                                                            best for certain segments of the minority
                                                         on Each Number a                                                                                                           groups.
                                ...........................................................................................
Ethnic Group                    1                2               3                4                5               Representation Items
.................................................................................................................................................................................   Representation considerations
Representation                                                                                                                                                                      Results from the study provide empirical
    Anglo                       17.8                   6.5               25.3                 17.1                33.2        There are lots of people from my                      support that many ethnic minorities’ atti-
                                                                                                                                                                                    tudes toward their current representation
    African                     24.7                17.8                 17.1                 11.5                28.9        ethnic group in the ads I see.
                                                                                                                                                                                    in advertisements are not negative. In gen-
    Hispanic                    36.3               8.1           16.9               7.4            31.3
.................................................................................................................................................................................
                                                                                                                                                                                    eral, while each group reported some in-
    Anglo                       29.6                17.2                 27.8                 14.8                10.7        Families I see in ads don’t
                                                                                                                                                                                    dividuals who felt negative toward the
    African                     33.9                19.4                 15.5                 10.2                20.8        seem at all like my family.                           frequency and accuracy of representation
    Hispanic                    34.4               7.1           17.4               7.1            34.0
.................................................................................................................................................................................   of their ethnic group in advertisements,
    Anglo                         8.3                  5.9               20.0                 19.0                46.9        The portrayal of my ethnic group                      other African and Hispanic Americans felt
    African                     21.6                11.7                 18.8                 12.1                35.8        in ads is offensive to me.                            equally as positive. Therefore, although it
    Hispanic                    22.2               6.3           14.4             10.0             47.0                                                                             appears that advertising may have come
.................................................................................................................................................................................
                                                                                                                                                                                    a long way since the representation criti-
    Anglo                       25.3                17.1                 36.0                 11.3                10.3        Ads that I see show my ethnic
                                                                                                                                                                                    cisms of Frito Bandito and Aunt Jemima
    African                     33.6                12.4                 15.2                   9.2               29.7        group as we really are.
                                                                                                                                                                                    (Westerman, 1989; Wilson and Guitierrez,
    Hispanic                    35.4               8.1           11.2               9.1            36.1
.................................................................................................................................................................................   1995), it is still important for advertisers
Desire for marketing communication efforts                                                                                                                                          to continue to enhance ethnic minority
    Anglo                       32.3                18.4                 27.1                   9.7               12.5        I would recommend branded                             images. This is particularly true given that
    African                     16.8                   7.3               16.1                 17.5                42.3        products to others in my ethnic                       many studies have shown a positive
    Hispanic                    30.4                   6.4               12.5                 12.1                38.6        group if the company supports                         relationship to exist between attitudes to-
                                                                                                                   our group.                                                       ward advertising, advertisements, brands,
.................................................................................................................................................................................
                                                                                                                                                                                    and purchase intentions (Lutz, 1985;
    Anglo                       21.1                21.1                 28.0                 11.4                16.3        I am more likely to buy from a
                                                                                                                                                                                    Mackenzie, Lutz, and Belch, 1986; Mehta
    African                     17.4                   7.3               17.4                 17.4                40.4        company that sponsors my ethnic
                                                                                                                                                                                    and Purvis, 1995). Several companies such
    Hispanic                    19.6                   6.8               15.0                 10.7                47.9        festivals and sports events.
                                                                                                                                                                                    as McDonald’s and Burger King have
a
 The mean scores represent: 1 strongly disagree to 5                                            strongly agree for statements #1, #4, and #6 and 1                strongly
                                                                                                                                                                                    stepped up their marketing dollars in
agree to 5 strongly disagree for #2 and #3.
                                                                                                                                                                                    the recent past to better understand and
                                                                                                                                                                                    more appropriately target various ethnic
                                                                                                                                                                                    minority groups (Minority Markets Alert
                                                                                                                                                                                    X, 1998; Wentz, 2001). Other advertisers
“mainstream” or general market English                                                                     radio in comparison to Anglo and His-                                    such as Ford and Domino’s Pizza have
language media should not be forgotten                                                                     panic Americans. These findings largely                                  begun over the years to use creative de-
in the mix. The self-reported results are a                                                                confirm those of earlier syndicated sources                              veloped at ethnic-oriented agencies in their
good validation of syndicated sources re-                                                                  (i.e., Nielsen, cabletvadbureau.com). They                               general-market spots and this is a grow-
garding media use patterns. In this study,                                                                 also suggest that although increasing num-                               ing trend (Halliday, 2001). Combining this
all three groups reported allocating the                                                                   bers of ethnic media channels exist, En-                                 trend along with results from the current
greatest amount of their time spent with                                                                   glish language broadcast is still a good                                 study, evidence is further provided of
English language media to broadcast. Af-                                                                   method for media planners to reach con-                                  the importance of general market media
rican Americans were found to spend the                                                                    sumers across different ethnic backgrounds.                              in planning decisions for reaching ethnic
most amount of time with television and                                                                    However, in light of the bi-modal distri-                                consumers.

                                                                                                                                                                          March 2005       JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING RESEARCH   149
ENGLISH LANGUAGE MEDIA CONNECT WITH ETHNIC AUDIENCES




TABLE 4
Stepwise Regression Analyses on Representation Statements
                                                                                                                    F Value b                     Adj. R 2
Variables: Dependent/Independent a                                                                                   (Final Model) (Final Model) b                                               t Value Significance
................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
There are lots of people from my ethnic group in the ads I see.                                                        9.51                       .019
      Ethnic group                                                                                                                                                              −.095            −2.66             .01
    Income                                                                                                                                                                         .083             2.33            .05
................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
Families I see in ads don’t seem at all like my family.                                                             10.74                         .011
    Ethnic group                                                                                                                                                                   .111             3.28            .001
................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
The portrayal of my ethnic group in ads is offensive to me.                                                            9.00                       .018
      Gender                                                                                                                                                                       .124            3.69            .001
    Education                                                                                                                                                                      .082             2.41            .05
................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
Ads that I see show my ethnic group as we really are.                                                                  8.47                       .017
      Education                                                                                                                                                                 −.104            −3.00             .01
    Ethnic group                                                                                                                                                                   .068             1.97            .05
................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
a
    Independent variables analyzed: ethnic group, education, income, gender, age, and marital status.
b
    p    .001




Segmentation                                                                      the former president of Ford Argentina,                                            The benefits of marketing
The bi-modal distributions for African and                                        who says that many sports are of the                                               communication efforts
Hispanic Americans across representa-                                             nature that “Americans of all back-                                                Significant benefits may be waiting for
tion issues indicate that advertisers need                                        grounds” will tune in and the same is                                              advertisers and marketers who not only
to learn when ethnicity is important for                                          true for several popular culture pro-                                              create more representative advertisements,
segmenting and when other factors might                                           grams (Halliday, 2001). According to                                               but who also help support ethnic minor-
be more important. Gender, education,                                             Casillas-Perez of Los Angeles–based La                                             ity communities. Both African and His-
and income were each found to be use-                                             Agenda de Orci & Asociados, you will                                               panic Americans indicated more favorable
ful in predicting various representation                                          be missing out if you only think of Span-                                          attitudes toward companies who sup-
attitudes. These demographic variables                                            ish language media in trying to reach                                              ported their ethnic group or sponsored
transcend culture in some instances and                                           the Hispanic consumer (Halliday, 2001).                                            their events. Many companies are already
could be used to better segment consum-                                           As an example, she points to the large                                             engaging in these types of activities. For
ers for various product categories. Pepsi                                         number of young Latinos that tune into                                             example, McDonald’s has sponsored sev-
is already beginning to shift some of its                                         MTV. The main point is that advertisers                                            eral national events over the years but is
advertising efforts toward more “multi-                                           and media planners need to consider cul-                                           also now sponsoring local events to build
cultural” marketing images. According to                                          ture as only one factor in segmenting                                              relationships with specific ethnic minor-
the director of multicultural marketing at                                        consumers and with this to think of En-                                            ity consumers. In Denver, McDonald’s
Pepsi, Giuseppe D’Alessandro, “There’s                                            glish language media and ethnic in-                                                sponsored Gospel Fest, an African Amer-
a new Pepsi Generation . . . Our youth                                            language media as different dimensions                                             ican musical event, and it participated in
are colorblind, and very diverse. It’s not                                        rather than polar opposites. Sponsor-                                              several other community events to en-
ethnic marketing any more, it’s multicul-                                         ships can further enhance the efforts of                                           hance education and scholarship funds
tural marketing” (Day, 2002). Others share                                        any media plan, and this is particularly                                           for both African and Hispanic American
this sentiment such as Francisco Codina,                                          true for ethnic minority consumers.                                                consumers (Cebrzynski, 1998). According

150        JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING RESEARCH                       March 2005
                                                                                                                                                           ENGLISH LANGUAGE MEDIA CONNECT WITH ETHNIC AUDIENCES




to a report by Scarborough Research, close                                                         To connect with the diverse nature of consumers today,
to 70 percent of consumers from these
two groups visit a McDonald’s in Denver                                                            both across and within groups, advertisers and media
every month (Cebrzynski, 1998); a solid
incentive for McDonald’s to build and                                                              planners need to meet consumers on their own terms . . .
maintain strong relationships with these
consumers.                                                                                         deliver messages with appropriate ethnic representa-
CONCLUSION                                                                                         tions through a repertoire of channels that include both
Many Hispanic and African American con-
sumers currently are receptive to the por-                                                         general and ethnic media.
trayal of their respective ethnic groups in
advertising and with being targeted by
advertisers. They also use English lan-
guage media frequently enough to con-                                                              tising, an M.A. in advertising from Michigan State                                                 search Fellowship, Dr. Lee has been active in aca-

tinue making general market media                                                                  University, and a B.A. in sociology from the University                                            demic and professional advertising organizations and

considerations a worthwhile effort in me-                                                          of Western Ontario. Her research is related to cross-                                              has served various roles in these groups.

dia mix decisions. However, a bi-modal                                                             cultural and international advertising and consumer

distribution across Hispanic and African                                                           behavior. Consumer role socialization issues such as

American respondents would suggest that                                                            teens or brand placement are also important to her                                                 REFERENCES
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