This is a story that had been under my radar until it was discussed on my morning radio show (Armstrong and Getty for those in Northern California).
It seems that for many years there has been something called Do Not Buy in radio advertising. The basic concept being that when a company hires an advertiser to buy radio ads they would include “Do Not Buy” for certain types of stations or for certain shows.
For example in the early 90’s a company like Starbucks would be gearing their ads to urban professional types. So they would issue a DNB for shows like Rush Limbaugh on the theory that most of their customers are liberal and to buy time on Rush would hurt business. By the same token a gun maker would probably want to avoid buying ads on Keith Olbermann.
This policy also had ethnic aspects. If you were trying to sell a CD collection of “The Best of Pat Boone” you’d probably not want to buy time on a Hip Hop station simply because Hip Hop listeners wouldn’t be likely to buy Boone. If you had a new Dr Dre CD to sell you’d want to skip time on a country music station.
All of this seems to me to make perfect sense. If you want to sell a product then you buy ads on stations that market to your likely customer base. It’s not that you have anything against hip hop or country music listeners, just that you go to where the money is.
But the FCC has issued a policy that says stations have to reject such policies on thr grounds that they are racist.
I am quite sure that some of the people who issued a no urban order did so on prejudice grounds but I suspect the vast majority of them did so on common sense economic grounds. Money is money and if advertising exclusively on minority stations would make you more profit then the most prejudiced businessman in the world is likely to make the buy.