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Advertisers Prepare for Black History Month Celebration

The Washington Informer, News Report, Ron Burke Posted: Jan 07, 2009

COLUMBUS, O.H. - The United States is in the midst of a recession. Whereas some corporations are begging for bailout money, others are shutting down stores, and many are slashing their advertising budgets. Despite this, many Fortune 500 companies have not dropped their plans to be a part of black history in 2009.

The reason why: Barack Obama's January inauguration has a lot of people excited about the biggest moment in black history. Conveniently, his inauguration will be held on Jan. 20 - just 11 days before Black History Month begins.

Representatives at major companies like Coca-Cola, Nationwide Insurance, McDonald's and KFC have already confirmed that they plan to launch huge advertising campaigns to commemorate African-American accomplishments.

Lee Moss Media, a media powerhouse that owns several popular African-American Web sites, is reporting that they have already locked in Wal-Mart and Alltel Wireless as exclusive sponsors for BlackHistory.com.

"It's very impressive to me that these companies have decided to keep their Black History Month ad campaigns, despite budget cuts," says Will Moss, co-founder of Lee Moss Media. "African-American consumers will respond favorably to these brands because this upcoming February will be the most important Black History Month celebration of all time."

In previous years, companies have spent an estimated $1 billion in print, radio, TV and online advertising for Black History Month. February 2009 spending is expected to be lower, but not significantly so. Interestingly enough, many of the advertisers want their campaigns to start early in January to coincide with the Presidential Inauguration and Martin Luther King Day.

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