BET Networks Joins Campaign Urging Advertisers to Focus on Black Media

BET Logo - H 2012

BET Logo - H 2012

The Viacom-owned company is joining forces with other African-American outlets on an effort dubbed #IntheBlack.

BET Networks is among the African-American media outlets launching a campaign on Monday to raise advertisers' awareness of the importance of black media, the New York Times reports.

The effort, aimed at marketers who have ignored black media while focusing ad placement on general outlets, is called #InTheBlack -- employing the Twitter hashtag. It kicks off with print ads in larger newspapers like the Times and trade publications such as Adweek and Broadcasting & Cable before ramping up social media and reaching out directly to agencies.

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BET, a division of Viacom, joins forces with Johnson Publishing -- which publishes Ebony and Jet magazines -- as well as Black Enterprise and the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters.

The company, which is producing the BET Awards to air July 1, has had success with such series as The Game, picked up from the CW in January 2011.

Meanwhile, according to Nielsen data, earnings for black households jumped 64 percent from 2000 to 2009. And by 2015, black audiences will have estimated buying power of $1.2 trillion for a 35 percent increase from 2008, said the Times, citing research from the Selig Center for Economic Growth.

Debra L. Lee, CEO of BET Networks, said marketers figure that they can reach everyone through TV spots on mainstream sports and primetime shows.

"Any well-developed media plan should include both," she said. "Black media has a special connection to black audiences."