CDD Study Warns of Downsides Of Multicultural Marketing

Wants Race, Ethnicity to be Classified as Sensitive Info 2/18/2013 9:29 AM Eastern


The Center for Digital Democracy has released a study underscoring its concerns about online multicultural marketing.

The study concludes that multicultural marketing is flattering to the degree that it shows that Hispanic, African-­American, and Asian-­American online consumers are an economic force to be reckoned with and courted. But it points out that targeted marketing can also be more successful at delivering messages that, if past is prologue, have not always benefitted that audiece, whether it is for fast food or "dodgy" lending schemes. 

"Multicultural digital consumers must be on guard and protect their own interests against the
digital advertising onslaught aimed squarely at them, by filtering out the beneficial from the harmful," the study concludes. 

CDD, which has been a leading voice for more government attention to online marketing and targetting, has been pushing for racial and ethnic info to be classified as sensitive data subject to stronger government protections.
"With rare exceptions, policymakers and the FTC have failed to address how race is being used in the Big Data era to target consumers for financial, health and other services," CDD Executive Director Jeff Chester told Multichannel News.

Chester says the study is the first of a series of studies it plans to release this year to try and help drive debate about online consumer protection, though Chester has long suggested there should be no debate about the need for stronger protections.

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