One of the things that have struck my mind in the past few years is the amount of junk television that the media offers, and consequently, what people are mentally and then digestionally fed by. Most of the programs that today T.V and other means of communication offer, are to my opinion Junk entertainment. Even more junky are the food commercials the media promotes to the different ethnic or racial groups accordingly to their “needs” through a technique called “Target Marketing” A brief study conducted my the http://http://www.bmsg.org/pdfs/http://www.bmsg.org/pdfs/bmsg_cche_target_marketing_brief.pdf.pdf.bmsg.org/ http://www.bmsg.org/://www.bmsg.org/ Studies Group organization point out, how this marketing techniques are used to secure minority groups, namely Hispanics and African Americans, into buying their junk food products for life, and then pass it to their next generations. Although, the marketing media claims they are just giving people what they want, BMSG criticizes them for promoting and selling them junk food loaded with sugar, sodium and high fat foods. Thus, giving an increased number of diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity to those minority communities that already have these health problems. Moreover, they try to protect lower income people from being victims of such media racial targeting. For example, an advertisement by subway that was posted in their website read the following:
Home of da $5 footlong five dollar foot longs everyday. Now that’s something to holla about.
Which included this picture of Abraham Lincoln wearing a bandana, sunglasses and shiny earrings.
Just as poor housing, schools, jobs and far reaching healthier food options in low income communities, BMSG claims that” Junk food target marketing is one of the bars on the “birdcage of structural racism”. Each bar being a social issue such as the ones I named above, which ultimately form what they call the “birdcage of structural racism” Advertisements like these try to keep minorities as junk food consumers through the power of the media without concern of their needs, rather of their food addictions and poor diets, which only makes their community’s health worse. BMSG also reports that “Low income, African-American, and mixed-race neighborhoods have more fast food restaurants than white or high-income neighborhoods” which they say does not help decrease their health problems such as youth obesity, but increases and perpetuates a culture of consumerism, disease and dependency of junk unhealthy food. All this is possible through what the marketing forces call the four Ps: Products, Places, Prices, and Promotions. In this case, Products being the high addicting ones, particularly those containing high amounts of sugar such as Sodas. Places, being targeted Latino and African American communities. Prices something such as the McDonalds dollar menu, which ensures their economy to be stable even in times of an economic crisis like the one we are going through while, at the same time ensuring that even poor customers are able to afford and keep buying their cheap unhealthy food and sodas. Finally, Promotions such as the Subway advertisement, aimed at African American communities, as to trying to appeal to this group the best way possible and thus encourage their consumption towards a specific product.
The conclusion of these brief study and my own observations, simply highlight the fact that food companies empowered by the media, do not care at all about what really the public needs, but what they could sell them in a continuous and great amounts while, overlooking the publics needs and amplifying theirs, by exploiting the different cultural identities by means of the media’s use of ethnic symbols, linguistic styles and music that links minorities to certain products.