In an effort to raise the awareness of African American consumers on Madison Avenue, Viacom cable network BET, in partnership with multicultural research specialist NsightsWorldwide, and TNS/NFO
WorldGroup, Friday unveiled plans for a sweeping consumer research initiative focusing on the African American marketplace. The effort will sample 2,500 African Americans ages 12 to 49, including a
large percentage living in urban markets. Research tools will analyze a range of factors influential to black consumer buying habits, including social-economic status, educational background,
geographical location and sources of media consumption. NSightsWorldwide and TNS/NFO WorldGroup will conduct the research project over an 11-week period. "A growing number of marketers and
advertisers, perhaps led by their agencies, believe placing ads on Black sitcoms on broadcast television is all they need to do to influence African American consumers to buy their products and
services," said Louis Carr, president of broadcast media sales at BET. "Clearly these are not the strategies and tactics utilized against the general market, nor are they the methods used to target
specific niche groups like women, men and Hispanics. Why should it be any different with African Americans?"