Washington, DC -- The Organization of Black Designers (OBD) announces the creation of the OBD Seal of Authenticity. The seal consists of the OBD logo and a statement that reads:
"This product is certified by the Organization of Black Designers to have been designed, manufactured or marketed exclusively by an African American enterprise or other member of the African Diaspora and represents high quality materials and workmanship".
The seal is being introduced to help African-American consumers identify products that have been legitimately designed, manufactured or marketed by African-Americans. "Companies are producing, marketing, and selling products that are represented as being made by Black Americans, or other members of the African Diaspora, but in fact they are not. OBD believes that if retailers are going to sell products that purport to be "authentic" in their cultural origin then they should be certified as such. No less so than "minority" vendors who have to be certified that they are truly "minority". Otherwise, unsuspecting Black consumers buy products that are not what they are represented to be" says OBD chairman, David Rice.
"Such activity deprives legitimate Black businesses and designers of opportunities and revenue greatly needed in the Black community in the form of jobs, commissions and supply contracts. Goods produced to appeal to African-Americans that have no input by African-Americans at the design, manufacturing, or marketing stages, but rely on the Black consumer for their commercial success are commercially and culturally dishonest", Rice says.
A recent University of Georgia study projected that Black spending power will reach $399 billion this year — a total greater than the entire GNP of Australia, Switzerland, Mexico, Korea and India. The study also showed that spending power is up 33.9% from five years ago. In global terms, African-Americans could easily qualify as a viable independent economy.
The seal is an excellent marketing opportunity for those companies who have demonstrated a commitment to doing business with minority companies and professionals. The seal also offers minority companies an opportunity to distinguish their products and services.
OBD has already secured the support of many Black companies and vendors and is actively soliciting major retailers and manufacturers to support this new marketing tool.
Advantages of using the seal are:
For additional information on the Organization of Black Designers contact:
Bill Brown, Communications Director
300 M Street, SW Suite N110
WWashington, DC 20024
202/659-3918 E-mail: OBDesign@aol.com