Pam Kelly Author

Marketers are infringing on our happily ever after!

I had taken a break from television to focus on completing and publishing my book, LEAP OF FAITH. Thanks again to all who purchased, commented, shared, written a review and/or gave it a five star rating, and have forced me to start thinking of a sequel. Upon return to the small screen, I began to notice that in many of the commercials, there was a noticeable absence of Black women and Black men in relationships—as a couple or family.  Black men were shown primarily with White or Hispanic or Asian women with mixed race children.  To be fair, I also noticed there are more commercials with Black women and White men, but not nearly as many.  But Black men and Black women?  Rare.

When I researched (Googled) to find out if anyone else noticed, I came across several articles that attempted to explain what was happening. I include only two here for your perusal.

This is not a new phenomenon.  Companies started their attempts at diversity campaigns with Black men and White women as early as 2013 with a Cheerios spot. Through the years, State Farm and the Washington State Fair have done it.  Most recently I have seen ads for Progressive, Bank of America, VSP Vision Care, CubeSmart Self Storage, Latuda, Rocket Mortgage, IKEA, Kay Jewelers, Taco Bell, Starbucks, Dominoes Pizza…the list never seems to end

The most egregious of them all is Kellogg’s, advertising Pringles Scorchin’ Snacks with what they call a cringe comedy spot.  Kellogg’s and Grey North even got an award, ‘Reel Ad of the Week’ from reel360.  If you haven’t seen it, it’s the story of a young White boy speaking to an older Black man while eating Pringles.  The young boy tells the older man that his daughter is a good kisser.  He goes on to ask the man if his wife is a good kisser.  The Black man never says a word.

I was so incensed that I wrote a page l-o-n-g email to the folks at Kellogg’s and Grey who participated in the blatant disrespect of the Black man and the absent Black woman, detailing all the ways they were wrong.  The email went to about eighteen people altogether.  No one has bothered to respond.  So I am venting in my own vehicle, this blog, and will post comments on both of their social media pages.

I’m all for diversity, and loving who you love, but there has to be balance.  If all of these companies are only producing one commercial and none show Black men with Black women, it represents another violation of our family dynamics, the true lack of awareness or even interest in promoting Black culture, and another disrespect to our African American women who are the most often undervalued and underappreciated.

If you have noticed what’s happening too, I invite you to join me in posting comments on the sites for all of these companies.  It’s my own little protest in a world gone mad.

Okay, I’m done.  Come back next month for my more typical commentary and questions on romance, love, and happy endings.

 “I’ve gotten a firsthand view at the destruction that black men and black women not being able to stay and build healthy relationships has had on the black family and black children.”

-Hill Harper

#PreserveBlackwithBlackLove   #CompaniesNeedToLearn  #Don’tDisrespectBlackPeople

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