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Adland missing out on £300bn ethnic consumer market

11 Oct 2012 12:58 BST Back
Adland missing out on £300bn ethnic consumer market
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Marketers and advertisers are missing out on the spending power of the UK’s ethnic minority consumers, currently £300bn and rising, according to a new IPA report. 

Ethnic minorities now account for 12% of the population in England and Wales and mixed race Britons are becoming the fastest growing ethnic group in the UK. The average British Indian man is now on a higher income than his white British counterpart.

Yet only 5% of ads made in 2011 featured an ethnic-minority actor, according to research conducted by Clearcast. 

Common misconceptions about Britain’s ethnic minorities are that they don’t spend, behave the same as whites and are too hard to target, says the IPA report published today (Thursday 11 October 2012) on ethnic diversity.

The report also offers advice and opportunities for marketers on how to reach black and ethnic minority (BME) consumers.

Although ethnic media has yet to make consistent inroads into mainstream marketing strategies, there are signs that businesses and the marketing industry are starting to take notice. 

TK Maxx launched a range of gift cards to tie in with the Hindu festival of Diwali after discovering that over one in five of their customers were Asian, while Swarovski launched a range of crystals designed specifically to be worn with the abbaya cloaks on Middle Eastern women. 

Says Saad Saraf, founder and CEO of Mediareach and chairman of the IPA Ethnic Diversity Forum and IPA Council: “We want this report to highlight what makes ethnic minority consumers such an interesting market. We are gradually seeing a cultural change in terms of recruitment and portrayal, which I find encouraging… However this is still much more to be done and this report helps to make a strong case for marketers to take ethnic minority consumers more seriously.”

Highlights of the report include:

  • By 2016 half of the (BME) population will be under the age of 12 whereas half of the white population will be under 40.
  • By 2051 England and Wales will be as diverse as London is now.
  • Indian households are most likely to own multiple cars or vans with 80% owning at least one.
  • Half of Bangladeshis live in households with four or more people.
  • South Asian and African Caribbeans still represent the largest ethnic groups.
  • Black British women spend six times more on hair products than their white counterparts.
  • Britain’s ethnic minorities make up 7% of all car owners and are three times more likely to own a BMW.
  • Britain’s ethnic minorities are more likely to be early adopters of, and spend proportionally more on, new technology.
  • Food and non-alcoholic drink has become the third spending priority for mixed Asian and black groups. ‘Ethnic’ food is a growing market in the UK, accounting for more than half of the market share in Europe. 

A second report will be published following the next set of results from the ONS Census out early 2013.

Posted by

Smarayda Christoforou

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