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The music industry has long sold black culture to white Americans. Now McDonald’s Corp. is doing much the same. It’s taking cues from blacks, Hispanics and Asians to develop menus and advertising, in an effort to encourage middle-class whites to buy smoothies and snack wraps as avidly as they consume hip-hop and rock ‘n’ roll.

“The ethnic consumer tends to set trends,” says Neil Golden, McDonald’s U.S. chief marketing officer. “So they help set the tone for how we enter the marketplace.”

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