Majority of ethnic minorities in Britain feel that most consumer brands use black or Asian faces in their advertisements purely as a token gesture, according to a study.
The survey 'Multi-Cultural Insight' conducted by Weber Shandwick, world's leading public relations and communications management firms, also found that nearly two-thirds of ethnic minorities feel that marketing by mainstream brands has little or no relevance to them.
"As the UK becomes increasingly diverse, companies are steadily realising the opportunities of communicating to the multi-cultural market, but it is apparent that many still do not fully understand how to effectively tune in," Rakhee Vithlani, head of Weber Shandwick's specialist division multi-cultural communications (MCC) said.
As many as 535 from the minority ethnic community and 509 whites aged between 18-35 were selected for the survey, according to the online edition of Asians in media.
The study said that there is an urgent commercial need for companies to better understand and communicate with ethnic groups which have an annual disposable income of over 32 billion pounds, and a population size growing 15 times faster than the white population.
The need to better understand and communicate with ethnic groups in Britain has never been greater.
"The spending power of ethnic groups is an increasingly lucrative market. In addition, I believe trends from the United States, where international brands such as Nike integrate ethnic-specific campaigns within their communications strategies and where organisations employ heads of multi-cultural marketing to specifically capitalise on this market, will increasingly impact and change our UK and European marketing industry as we know it today," Rakhee Vithlani said.
A total of 75 per cent of blacks, 63 per cent of Asians and 50 per cent of Chinese believe that consumer brands in Britain are not aware of how to market to individuals from ethnically diverse backgrounds, compared to 31 per cent of white people.