August 14, 2009

"No Urban Dictates" Lives On - Mini Cooper Ad Agency Gets Caught in an Email - We Don't Want to Advertise to Black Consumers

"Non Urban Dictate" (NUD) is a "supposedly" illegal practice that essentially means that a company is not interested in the Black consumer. Instructions are usually implied orally or left unsaid, no one sends this kind of stuff in an email anymore.

A NUD label means that a company does not want their marketing and advertising materials placed in media that claim an "urban" audience (or in other words to African American consumers) as their main target.

In the advertising world, companies feel that there are legitimate reasons for them not to use urban radio. For example, African Americans may not index high in certain categories or that a company's strategy is to market to the Black consumer down the road after they have established a strong position in their primary target.

Now comes a five-word line in an email from a Los Angeles agency buyer seeking proposals for a Mini Cooper radio commercial is seen as the latest evidence that the decades-old “No Urban Dictates” lives on.

Here's part of the email:


Formats-Rock, News, Alternative, Sports, Talk

Length: 30’s


No combos or urban formats.

The buyer tells stations, “No combos or urban formats.” Public advocates say it shows why an FCC compliance officer is needed. In a letter to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski, the Minority Media Telecommunications Council executive director David Honig writes, “If the Broadcast Nondiscrimination Rule remains unenforced, NUDs will continue to compromise minority broadcasters’ ability to serve their communities."

So what are the long term effects of this? Advertising agencies will avoid placing their ads on urban stations like V-103 in Atlanta or WHUR in Washington, despite the fact that these stations are many times number one in overall ratings in their cities. MMTC calculates dictates cost minority stations more than $200 million a year.


  1. The NUD issue has been something that I have been confused about for a long, long time. It's an issue that I deem to be quite ridiculous actually.

    African Americans make up more than 14% of the United States population. This adds up to nearly 40 million people. As a group, African American consumers spend nearly one trillion dollars a year - creating the largest buying power by far than any other minority group.

    A company doesn't want to cater to me? FAN-FREAKIN'-TASTIC! I don't purchase their product! The End! Now we're even! I would love to see black folk come together and simply boycott those companies who participate this ridiculous practice.

  2. I'm not surprised because there seems to be this racially-based classist mindset in the business world of blacks. It will continue until those with open-minds realize that blacks are the largest purchasing block in this nation. They still think all blacks are poor or just not cultured enough to consider certain things aside from the usual. However, when I think about it, I think wealthy and middle-class blacks should set the bill for what is "cultured" for blacks and make the rest of the nation follow them for once rather than the opposite.

  3. the only reason this seems to be new is because some react to it as new, it's those owners of black media who continue to play in a system that is unfair to them, but will ask president obama for a lifeline of cash infusion to stay afloat, knowing full well when they don't reap the financial amount they really make, but you dont see or hear them jointly coming together to challenge no urban dictates, sure the practice is illegal, so is payola, but neither of those issues do you see owners of black media jointly addressing. No need to get emotional over this unless you demand those owners to stand up, or else you will see a news story of this again in 8 years, it's normal. The last thing I would want to do is follow upper middle class blacks, because that's the group that is part of the group that you will discover owns black media outlets, and look at their backbone? hehe this is negroe intellect at it's worst in our community.

  4. Anonymous, You could not have said it any better. Look at what happened to Motown.The Black radio stations play what their investors tell them to.

  5. And these are the same people that say that we need to get over slavery because they weren't the slaveowners. They might as well be, since the mentality behind it seems to be passed on to each generation.
    Just remember the famous line in Roots,
    "You In Amerikka Now, Guinney Man."


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