Re: race in commercials

Martin Cohen (mcohen@UCLA.EDU)
Thu, 7 Dec 1995 19:20:08 -0700

>I am not sure who posted it earlier, but the facts are that advertising
>is to make money. Twenty years ago, you would probably never have seen a
>commercial with a black person on it, unless it was directed towards
>blacks for something like Afro-Sheen.

I know the man in TV advertising production who first used African American
actors in a national ad campaign. He is a friend of the family, not a
research informant, but he comes from the leftist-secular-Jewish tradition
that is the topic of my current research. He had one heck of a time
getting his client, and later clients to approve of this great leap. And
of course, unlike most sit-coms to this day, African Americans were
presented with dignity as full members of our society. Money was not the
object. He could have done it the easy way with white actors.

Martin Cohen