Date of Completion


Degree Type

Honors Thesis


Marketing (MRKT)

First Advisor

Julian Saint Clair


How are African Americans represented in advertisements? Although prior research is very thorough, it focuses almost exclusively on print and broadcast, leaving a significant gap in the literature with respect to diversity in digital advertisements. This focus on print and broadcast media has also left a gap in analysis of advertisements by small businesses who often lack budget for mass media placements. Using a comparative analysis, the authors hypothesize that the representation of African Americans in digital advertisements by large companies will follow the same trends previously found in print and broadcast media, but digital advertisements by smaller companies will have more equitable representation for African Americans. The authors put forth a theoretical account wherein larger brands (compared to smaller brands) lack diversity in the decision-making process for creating these advertisements, leading to less diverse messages in advertising. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Included in

Marketing Commons