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Star power, self esteem and soft sell are the main ingredients of a wide-ranging Procter & Gamble effort to attract the enormous buying power of African-American women…

Now in its third year, P&G’s “My Black is Beautiful” campaign includes a cable TV show, a website, a Facebook page with more than 55,000 members, sponsorship of a major music festival, special events in cities nationwide and endorsements by African-American celebrities.

The latest twist will be an open casting call this fall to find real people to serve as models to represent My Black is Beautiful. P&G will announce details in coming weeks, but Kisha Mitchell Williams, the P&G brand manager who runs the campaign, says it will be “an inside-out model search.” P&G, she says, will set up competitions in cities to find everyday African-American women who can be ambassadors or spokespeople.

“We’re looking for everyday women to demonstrate their beauty and success and to tell us why they are beautiful,” Williams says.

It will be the newest element in a campaign to win more share of a big, growing market.

The “My Black is Beautiful” television show on the BET network began its second season in May, featuring a half-hour of talk and features on health and beauty and culture. Hosted by actress Tasha Smith, the show has delved into cultural issues as well as trends in accessories, lipstick and hair coloring.

My Black is Beautiful has gone on the road to Chicago, Atlanta and Charlotte, bringing celebrities and “pop-up salons” in free, open-to-the-public events that offer skin analysis, hair consultations and makeovers. In April, P&G kicked off the second season of the TV show with a similar event and salon at the company’s downtown Cincinnati headquarters.

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