Al Sharpton’s “Entitled” Take on Advertising

John Hood at NRO’s The Corner notes  some  comments by Al Sharpton to the effect that corporations have an obligation to advertise in “Black newspapers. ” According to Sharpton, “They are in our communities. They owe us in our communities.”  John comments that “if corporations aren’t buying advertising enough in the black press, how can they be indebted to the black press for helping them reap profits?”  I think this misinterprets Sharpton’s comments, which reveal to me a frame of mind that is even more entitled. 

Several years ago, I was involved in a piece of litigation brought by several black-owned businesses.  One of their theories was that the defendant, my client, sold goods and services to black people (among everyone else).  Therefore, the defendant had an obligation to spend a percentage of its procurement dollars with black-owned businesses that was more or less equal to the percentage of the overall population that was black in the various states the defendant served.  This theory was advanced by both the National Black Chamber of Commerce and the plaintiffs’ expert.  The expert’s name escapes me, but he was pretty prominent among folks considered by the media to be “civil rights leaders.” 

I think this is what Sharpton is talking about — if black people patronize a business, or it happens to be located in a community where black people live, then the business has an obligation to advertise in the black-owned press regardless of any other considerations, such as price, overall readership demographics, etc.  I assume that the Reverend’s take on advertising is no different from his take on any other field of human endeavor — you owe us by virtue of the color of our skin, and you are a racist if you disagree.

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Published in: on July 14, 2010 at 5:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

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