Marla D. Currie
Urban Consumer Chatter
Ask most Urban Shoppers where they turn when they've had a problem or an issue in the consumer marketplace and they're quick to reply The Better Business Bureau (BBB), or if truly serious, the State Attorney general's office. Both of these traditional means of redress are modestly effective at best.
The BBB is a manufacturer sponsored trade organization rather than the consumer watchdog organization most urban shoppers were lead to believe thanks to a long-running and misleading advertising campaign. Attorney General offices responsiveness to consumer complaints varies from state to state and can consist of filing out forms and paying a fee but without any guarantees of financial remedy.
An Urban Consumer Forum may prove to be a more effective means of creating the broad awareness of marketplace issues that can empower individual consumers by heightening awareness of marketplace experiences both good and bad with others.
The recent success by the ColorofChange.org that got national advertisers to pull advertising monies away from controversial FOX TV talk show host Glenn Beck demonstrates the power of organized consumers. Historically, Urban Shoppers have had it rough as consumer markets. By 2011, Blacks and Latinos collectively will be a $2.3 trillion buying market. More consumerism education and insight is needed to help these groups get the respect their dollars warrant.
Consumerism as a topic has never been focussed let alone broadly in a channel like a social forum. The challenges of consumerism have never been greater. Perhaps by chatting and sharing purchasing best practices and wisdom, Urban Shoppers will create a new consumerism future for themselves.
|Targeted Media Online is publisher of The Penny Wiser| Urban Consumerism Magazine