CAB Launches Multicultural Web Site

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NEW YORK — The Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau already has big plans for the recently launched "Multicultural Resource Center" area within its general Web site.

The site — the first in the cable industry aimed at the pursuit of ethnic advertising dollars — generated "well over 2,000 page views in February alone," even though it launched on Feb. 26, CEO Joseph Ostrow said in an interview at CAB's offices last week. March figures had not been tallied by press time.

"We don't know who they [the page viewers] were," said Ostrow, who presumed that most of those that clicked on the site (www.cabletvadbureau.com/MMRC) were advertisers or ad-agency media buyers and planners. (The area's link from CAB's main site will soon become more prominent, he noted.)

The CAB is currently preparing a direct mail-piece that targets both general-market and ethnically oriented ad agencies.

"We think we've caught the leading edge of what's going on out there," Ostrow said.

According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, there has been burgeoning growth among minority segments of the population — particularly Hispanics and Asian Americans.

"Advertisers recognize that a lot of the future depends on good, specific marketing to African Americans, Hispanics and Asian Americans," Ostrow said. These consumer groups combine for well over $1 trillion in purchasing power, he estimated.

More research information will be added by month's end, including Nielsen Media Research data on the Hispanic television market, TN Media Inc. reports on African-American TV viewing patterns and Census Bureau statistics, said CAB director of network marketing development Cynthia Perkins-Roberts.

Those now supplying marketing data to the site include Don Coleman Advertising, Horowitz Associates, Roslow Research, Starcom Mediavest Group, Strategy Research Corp. and the University of Georgia.

The site also includes case histories involving marketers who've targeted the ethnic segment. Current campaigns feature Burger King Corp., Chuck E. Cheese, McDonald's Corp. and Miller Brewing Co., and will be updated frequently, Ostrow said.

New ethnic campaigns, culled from the trade press, include new efforts from DaimlerChrysler Corp.'s Dodge, Procter & Gamble Co. and State Farm Insurance.

Roberts said the CAB has received a considerable amount of positive feedback, notably from the American Association of Advertising Agencies' multicultural committee.

Various cable networks have also supported the resource center by supplying some programming information and research data, said Ostrow. They may later add some promotional opportunities.

Black Entertainment Television, CNN en Español, Discovery en Español, ESPN Deportes, Galavision, MBC Network and MTV Networks all have posted programming-heavy listings on the site. Roberts noted that Nickelodeon's listing also includes Latino market research.

Down the road, some of those networks might buy advertising banners on the Multicultural Resource Center, Ostrow said.

The CAB also intends to expand the site's scope by involving those MSOs and interconnects that actively pursue ethnic ad dollars, said Ostrow. Those include operators in the New York, Los Angeles and Dallas markets, as well as Adlink, the L.A.-area interconnect.

So far, the site contains less information on the Asian marketplace, largely because it's so fragmented. For instance, Asian Americans speak some 30 languages, the executives pointed out.

Asia Link Consulting and the advertising agency Kang & Lee are among CAB's suppliers of data on Asian Americans.

The CAB expects more information to be available, once the International Channel comes aboard, Ostrow said; discussions to that effect are underway.

Although the International Channel also targets Eastern Europeans and other ethnic sectors, Ostrow said the CAB's MRC site will "focus on the three most dynamic multicultural segments."

Two years ago, the CAB drew 200 attendees to a New York conference on the multicultural marketplace. At an upcoming meeting, Ostrow said, the group's steering committee will discuss the possibility of either staging another such event or adding a segment on the topic to the CAB's annual New York gathering, currently slated for February 2002.

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