New York civil rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton threatened "appropriate direct action" against Young & Rubicam, PepsiCo and Federated Department Stores' Macy's if executives failed to meet with him within 10 days to discuss charges they avoided placing ads in media targeting minorities. At a rally with supporters outside Y&R's Madison Avenue headquarters today, the Rev. Sharpton said not doing business with minority media is a "moral crime" and alleged these media were not adequately represented in ad plans. In materials handed out at the rally, his National Action Network also said "Y&R is not the only ad agency with a problem." Y&R in a statement said it places more than $150 million of advertising in ethnic and minority-owned media each year, has created ads for the United Negro College Fund and served as marketing partner to the National Urban Coalition and the National Urban League. Y&R did not comment on the Rev. Sharpton's demand for a meeting. A spokesman at Pepsi-Cola Co. said the company has a "solid track record in a wide array of ethnic and minority marketing." He added, "Our ethnic marketing has increased, especially in TV." Macy's could not be reached for comment at deadline.
Copyright June 1998, Crain Communications Inc.