From PR Watch: "The U.S. Army is adjusting its marketing pitch to minorities as the war in Iraq hurts recruiting efforts among Hispanics and, especially, African-Americans," reports Advertising Age. Leo Burnett is the Army’s lead marketing agency, with Cartel Creativo doing Hispanic, and Muse Cordero Chen & Partners and Vital Marketing Group doing African-American, outreach. The Army will "maintain a minority presence in general-market advertising, craft minority-specific messages," and "focus Spanish-language messages at parents and ‘influencers.’" Political science professor Peter Feaver expressed skepticism, saying, "If the problem is Iraq, there’s not much in the short run that the Army recruiters can do."
Meanwhile the military publication Stars & Stripes is reporting today, "The number of black volunteers has fallen 41 percent – from 23.5 percent of recruits in fiscal 2000 down steadily to 13.9 percent in the first four months of fiscal 2005… Officer recruiting is hit, too. Black enrollment in the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program is down 36 percent since 2001."
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) told Stars & Stripes, "I have not found a black person in support of this war in my district. The fact that every member of the Congressional Black Caucus emotionally, politically and vigorously opposes this war is an indication of what black folks think throughout this country."