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GroupM Launches Initiative To Increase Support Of Black-Owned Media

Media mogul Byron Allen calls 2% pledge ‘too skinny.’

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Photo Credit: orcearo

Advertising giant GroupM has announced the launch of a new Media Inclusion Initiative designed to support Black-owned media companies and creators. GroupM is owned by WPP, the world’s biggest advertising company which manages more than $60 billion in client advertising spends.

[SEE ALSO: ‘Black Press Week’ Shows Power Of African American Newspapers]

The new initiative includes a pledge to invites its client portfolito to invest at least two percent (2%) of their total annual media budgets in Black-owned media over the next 12 months.

In addition, GroupM will launch a “Diverse Voices Accelerator” fund to support writers, producers, directors, talent and production companies in the development, funding, distribution and marketing of premium content for GroupM’s clients. The fund will initially focus on Black-owned initiatives and expand into other underrepresented communities.

“For advertising to work better for people, we must dedicate media dollars to initiatives and activities that improve the ecosystem and drive positive cultural influence,” said Christian Juhl, GroupM Global CEO. “As the largest global media network, we are in a unique position to create scaled programs like the Media Inclusion Initiative that can effect enormous change in the media industry. While this commitment of 2+% could represent support and investment of up to 30% of all available Black-owned media, our long-term hope and goal is that it helps create more opportunities for Black creators, producers and Black-owned businesses.”

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The move comes after more than a year of efforts led by media entrepreneur Byron Allen challenging advertisers to increase their ad dollar spends with Black-owned media. Allen, who owns one of the largest cable network portfolios in the industry, including the Weather Channel, told Variety he has spent “12 hours a day on Zoom calls since March of last year.”

Allen has also gone on record over the past year calling for advertising agencies to commit at least 5% to 15% to Black-owned outlets to better reflect the national demographics. He called GroupM’s commitment “too skinny,” in a Deadline interview. ‘We’re encouraging them to step up their commitment.”

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Stephenetta (isis) Harmon is founder of Sadiaa Black Beauty guide, the premier directory for Black-owned beauty brands. She previously served as digital media director for Hype Hair and editor-in-chief for the MN Spokesman-Recorder. She builds platforms to celebrate the power, impact, and business of Black beauty.

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