Published on .

April 11, 2001

By Wayne Friedman and Alice Cuneo

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Neither Viacom's CBS television network nor any of the CBS-owned stations have been affected by

60 Minutes reported on racial profiling and shoplifting.
Dillard's Inc. decision to pull advertising in the wake of a 60 Minutes story on racial profiling, according to a network spokesman.

60 minutes reported that Dillard's pulled its advertising from 11 CBS affiliates -- non-owned CBS stations -- in response to a story it did on Dillard's alleged practice of using racial profiling when targeting shoplifters.

The affiliates are in markets such as Houston, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Toledo, Ohio, and Charlotte, N.C. At least one TV station general manager in Houston reported that Dillard's had pulled out advertising. A Dillard's spokesman declined to comment on the retailer's advertising and marketing activities, or whether it pulled the ads.

Death after Dillard's incident
The March 25 60 Minutes broadcast discussed how police have used racial profiling when handling shoplifting cases. The 60 Minutes' segment focused on the case of Darryl Robinson, who was arrested in a Houston Dillard's after police say he became unruly. Mr. Robinson had entered Dillard's and caused a commotion by screaming about religion. He was tied up by security and removed from the store. Witnesses have alleged he was hogtied and wheeled out on a dolly. Two days later he died. His wife and parents have filed a wrongful death suit against the chain as well as the store's security guards and local police.

Dillard's, which has 340 stores in 29 states, had reacted strongly to the broadcast, claiming 60 Minutes gave it short shrift, allotting only a few seconds of a 13-minute story to the company's response. The retailer had gone on to say that it does not have a policy of targeting any particular ethnic group in its security practices but that it attempts "to provide a safe and family-friendly environment for all our customers and associates."

No comment
A Dillard's spokesman declined to comment on the retailer's advertising and marketing activities. "Due to the competitive nature of the business, we do not discuss marketing strategies, advertising strategies, marketing decisions or advertising decisions," Skip Rutherford said.

Dillard's apparently uses a number of regional advertising agencies, among them Avanti Casehoit, Miami, for its various advertising needs.

Copyright April 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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