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Recently we have been discussing marketing to minorities and whether or not that is truly an ethical thing to do.  First off, what is a minority?  Definitions can be somewhat ambivilant on what should be considered a minority.  According to the federal government a minority is basically  anyone who is not white–i.e. Blacks, Hispanics, Latinos, Asians,  American Indians, etc.  This definition refers then to ethnic differences.  What about those who are in same sex relationships?  Would they be considered a minority group?  And what about little people?  I ask because I just saw a television commercial starring a “little person” that was advertising Burger King Burger Shots.  It actually occurred to me to wonder if this was a politically correct thing for Burger King to do.

We seem to be always wondering if we’re offending someone–whether it’s little people, African-Americans, American Indians, people with pink hair and nose rings–where does it stop?  How does today’s marketing professional avoid accidentally stereotyping a minority?  Probably the best way of avoiding a faux pas when it comes to minorities and marketing is to ask the opinions of either a focus group or a consultant before any campaign is initiated.  By doing this  if there is some overlooked offense, it can be corrected before a costly and probably unforgettable, error is made.   Check out these ads from the past–what trouble these would cause today!

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Here’s an old TV commercial that would never make it in today’s politically correct culture.

This 2006 ad shows just how hard it is to be politically correct these days.