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Nation’s Brands Criticize African Americans For Appropriating Dialect

WASHINGTON—Alleging their businesses had endured longstanding exploitation by the Black community, a coalition of the nation’s top commercial brands came together Tuesday to criticize African Americans for appropriating the dialect used in marketing campaigns to target young consumers. “When Black people use terms like ‘AF,’ ‘lit,’ ‘bae,’ ‘on fleek,’ and ‘fam,’ they are co-opting the language we use to connect with our customers,” said Mars Inc. senior marketing manager Jeanne Licotta, stating that such instances of theft extended back more than 100 years, when Black men who worked as chefs would sometimes don attire similar to that worn by the caricature depicted on the Cream of Wheat box. “If we run a campaign to convey just how ‘on 10’ our Snickers brand is, we expect African Americans to avoid using that phrase out of respect for our advertising strategy. Black people have no business stealing words that we need to reach the valuable 18-to-34 demographic.” At press time, the coalition of brands had filed a lawsuit against a Black teenager, saying the youth had infringed upon their trademark of the phrase “no cap.”

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