The Occupy Wall Street protesters tents may have been taken out of NYC’s Zucotti park by the police. . However, the Occupy Wall Street movement, echoed in many other U.S. cities by other local movements, is gaining momentum. It is good to ask ourselves how we in the Latin marketing, media and advertising industry should relate to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Let’s not forget that the movement was started last 15th of March in Spain by mostly young people protesting about their bleak employment opportunities.
At heart, the Occupy Wall Street movement expresses outrage against the collusion between the U.S. executive power, the legislative power and the financial sector. That collusion sustains a “crooked” institutional framework that socializes losses of bankrupt financial institutions by bailing them out with taxpayers money. Yet, once these financial institutions are profitable again, sky-high bonuses are distributed to their executives instead of being channeled back to the public sector in order to create employment. It’s great to be an executive in Wall Street; If things go well, the executive gets the profit. When they go wrong, the public sector picks up the bill.
Latin Americans are paying a particularly high toll
The above described institutional framework incentivizes excessive risk-taking by (often) irresponsible corporate leaders. It has created the current economic crisis by which Hispanics in US have been particularly hardly affected. A recent study by the Pew Research Center, shows that the median net worth among Hispanic households, adjusted for inflation, fell 66% from 2005 to 2009, compared to 53% among black households and only 16% for white households. Another study by “New York Communities for Change” found that Blacks and Hispanics constituted 32% of homeowners in New York between December 2009 and December 2010, but a full 56% of notified pre-foreclosures, making them 175% more likely to be foreclosed upon than the general population of homeowners facing the same fate.
There is a strong message here for the Latin Marketing, Advertising and Media Industry. American consumers, and particularly those of Latin origin are expecting more from the companies they choose – they want to see these companies reflect their ethics and values. It is crucial that advertisers incorporate the Occupy Wall Street’s movement philosophical and ethical values into their communication with the Latin consumer.