Advertisers neglecting the 'brown pound'

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Black faces are "few and far between" in British ads, says a report published by the advertising industry's trade body, which adds that advertisers are missing out on the "brown pound" by failing to address ethnic minorities.

The study by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising says that, despite a combined disposable wealth of £32bn, ethnic minorities are not a target of business. BT is singled out for praise as the one brand that successfully reflects "the social mix of its potential customers" in its adverts. The report also says that ethnic minority communities tend to be younger and more "technically adept" than their white counterparts.

About 74 per cent of Britain's south Asians have a mobile phone while the national average is 69 per cent, and 57 per cent have home internet access compared with 47 per cent of the whole population. Jonathan Mildenhall, co-chairman of the Ethnic Diversity Project, said: "The economic contribution that ethnic minorities make ... is huge.We need to educate and advise our clients about the potential of all target groups."