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Monday, April 14, 2014

Ashley Furniture and Albers Grits Urged to be Boycotted — For Making Millions of Dollars From Black Consumers, But Failing to Support Black Newspapers

— Major furniture company and food brand targeted by Black newspapers nationwide —

Ashley Furniture and Alberts Grits Boycott

Fresno, CA — Most Black households are familiar with the common staple of ready-made grits and corn meal—especially the Albers brand, produced by corporation, Continental Mills, Inc. In fact, Kimber Kimber & Associates determined in a study of “black consumer ad spending” that African-Americans will purchase over $25 million worth of products from Continental Mills under the brand name of Albers this year alone. They also noted that since Continental Mills took over the Albers brand from the Nestle Corporation, they have grossed over $160 million in total revenue from Black consumers.

In looking at corporations benefiting from the Black consumer and at the urging of Black newspaper publisher nationwide, Kimber-Kimber & Associates contacted Continental Mills President & CEO John M. Heilyin an effort to give them an opportunity to support the black community and Black consumers through direct media buys with its 200 Black newspapers it represents nationwide.

“Despite having a huge income and product support from the Black consumer, Continental Mills and the Albers brand has made an infamous and historical decision to reject our proposals and not to market to and support their millions of African-American consumers nationwide,” explained Mark Kimber, CEO of Kimber Kimber & Associates and publisher of The California Advocate Newspaper, a family owned and operated Black newspaper since 1967.

“It is an amazing fact that the Albers brand is proving to be one of the most discriminatory marketers in the history of our nation’s food product manufacturers, despite huge Black consumer support,” said Kimber. “It is almost unimaginable that the CEO of Continental Mills, who produces and markets the Albers brand, to state to Black newspapers that his company does not have any intention to even consider to advertise or purchase seasonal branding advertisement, such as Black history Month ads, directed to the Black consumer through Black newspapers.”

As Continental Mills, Inc. has recently bragged about its large Black consumer support while not having to support Black media institutions, Kimber Kimber &Associates and its over 200 Black newspapers it represents will be urging Black consumers to boycott the Albers brand for the remainder of the 2014 year through a large blatant print ad describing the discriminatory practices, along with other brand alternatives.

“We as the Black press seek to, as all other consumer groups, be incorporated in the very marketing structure of brands such as Albers, and never again be discounted from any product manufacturer who realizes the support of our black consumer dollar while not spending legitimate advertising dollars to support our institutions,” said Kimber. “That is the only way we Black newspapers will, like all other ethnic consumer groups and media outlets, keep our cultural media vibrant and sustainable.

Ashley Furniture too

Ashley Furniture is also being singled out as a company that ignores African American newspapers while spending millions of dollars in white owned newspapers advertising annually. “In regards to Ashley Furniture it is not a matter of newspaper advertising versus internet or broadcast advertising it is clearly just the fact that they choose not to utilize Black owned newspapers within the millions of newspaper advertising dollars they continue to provide to white and Hispanic newspapers annually. While our community continues to share our consumer dollars with Ashley Furniture they arrogantly ignore our newspapers while giving newspaper ad dollars to all other ethnic groups,” stated Kimber.

This is the first series of the “Our Fair Share” Black newspaper campaigns designed to gain advertising support for Black-owned and operated newspapers nationwide. It is estimated by Adage Magazine and Ketchum Agency that major corporations will spend over $390 billion in newspaper advertising in the next fiscal year. Kimber Kimber & Associates noted that African-American newspapers currently receive less than 0.00001 percent of these ad dollar expenditures annually.

“In speaking regularly with over 80 black newspaper publishers around the country, it is clear that this is not personal to Albers brand or Ashley Furniture,” said Kimber, “but it is an overall idea of fair trade with our community. Even national brands such as Adidas and Cadillac have fallen short of their overall support of our traditional cultural media despite the fact that the Black consumer has made these brands into the success they enjoy today.”

The “Our Fair Share” ad campaign is an independent African-American newspaper Black consumer educational campaign designed by Kimber Kimber & Associates advertising agency, The California Advocate Newspaper, and over 160 Black weekly newspapers nationwide, which purpose is to inform African-American newspaper readers of the discrepancies of major newspaper advertisers and product manufacturers whom have Black consumer support, and are unfairly excluding black cultural media in paid advertising and marketing campaigns.

To see the “Our Fair Share” campaign ad that will run simultaneously in newspapers across the country, visit:

Mark Kimber
Kimber Kimber & Associates
(559) 268-0941