Leaders of Black-owned media companies have been publicly voicing concerns over being left out of companies spending bigger advertising budgets with them.
GroupM — which is the world’s leading media investment company — stepped up to the challenge by announcing that 20 clients pledged at least 2% of their total annual media budgets would be spent with Black-owned publications. An initiative called the Media Inclusion Initiative (MII) will focus on Black-owned media. It was created to bring the lucrative promise to fruition.
“Directing investment toward Black-owned media is essential to the future of our industry and a priority for GroupM in our mission to create a more equitable ecosystem and make advertising work better for people,” Matt Sweeney, Chief Investment Officer of GroupM U.S., said in a press release.
“We are inspired by the immediate enthusiasm from this initial group of industry-leading clients, which reinforces our commitment to meaningful, long-term action.”
Companies such as AARP, Adidas, Citizens, Danone, DoorDash, Ferrara, General Mills, L’Oréal USA, Mars, MGA Entertainment, Mizkan America Inc., maker of RAGÚ, Nestlé, Uber, Ring, Target and others publicly committed to investing in Black-owned media, according to details.
A group of 20 brands that include General Mills, L’Oreal USA, Nestle, Target, Tyson Foods, DoorDash, Mars and WW have pledged to spend at least 2% of their annual media budgets in Black-owned media. https://t.co/dkYB3Udw4s
— Ad Age (@adage) June 8, 2021
The issue is not new. A few months ago, Deadline reported Sean “Diddy” Combs called out General Motors for not spending sufficient ad dollars with Black-owned enterprises. And in late March, Yahoo! News reported that Byron Allen was among seven prominent Black media leaders who accused Mary Barra, General Motors’ chief executive officer, of racism and economic exclusion. Allen took out an ad that included a signed open letter published in the Detroit Free Press. Barra would not meet with the group for five years, according to the article. It was also noted that General Motors spent under .5 percent with Black-owned media on advertising.
“The open letter and ad are signed by Allen, who is the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Allen Media Group (which owns the Grio), Ice Cube of BIG3, Cubevision and CWBA, as well as Roland Martin, chief executive officer of Nu Vision Media, Inc.; Todd F. Brown, founder of Urban Edge Networks and HBCU League Pass; Don Jackson, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Central City Productions; Earl “Butch” Graves Jr., president and chief executive officer of Black Enterprise; and Junior Bridgeman of Ebony Media,” Yahoo! News reported.