GroupM Pledges 5% of Spending Will Go To Minority-Owned Media

Kirk McDonald GroupM
Kirk McDonald (Image credit: Xandr)

Media buying agency GroupM said it is pledging to allocate 5% of its spending on media outlets owned by or focused on Black, Hispanic, Asian American and Pacific Islanders and LGBTQ+ Americans.

The pledge expands GroupM’s Media Inclusion Initiative. 

“As the largest media investment company in the world, we have a responsibility to accelerate growth through the next era of media,” said Kirk McDonald, CEO, GroupM North America. “That means making our industry more inclusive and  equitable for all publishers. As well as, sharing brands’ products and services with audiences that are representative of the changing face of America in service of growing their businesses.”  

GroupM also said it hired Cynthia Morgan Jenkins as head of supplier diversity to develop and nurture relationships with diverse-owned media and content partners. She reports to Gonzalo del Fa, president, GroupM Multicultural. 

“The Media Inclusion Initiative helps us, and our clients achieve greater equity while supporting the voices, content and editorial written for and by these communities and creating a more diverse media marketplace in the process,”  said del Fa. “Not only have we doubled the number of clients participating in the Media Inclusion Initiative, but we’re also seeing those brands increase their commitments." 

Also Read: Hispanic TV Summit: Latinos Feel ‘Invisible’ and That's a Problem for Marketers

GroupM says that since it launched its Media Inclusion Initiative 18 months ago, its clients have made a triple-digit percentage increase in client spending in Black-owned media. The growth outpaced the industry according to data from Standard Media Index.

“GroupM has shown a commitment to supporting Black-owned media and we’ve seen leading brands within GroupM step up and partner with REVOLT to do impactful work over the past two years,” said Detavio Samuels, CEO of Revolt. “We believe GroupM’s latest initiative will encourage more brands to place bigger bets on Black-owned media companies and this new initiative is a step toward shifting the paradigm moving forward.”

in July 2020, GroupM launched the GroupM Multicultural Marketplace, which features 300 Black-and Hispanic-owned and/or focused publishers  that create, curate, and distribute content specifically for minority audiences.   

“We’ve seen increasing client support for our Media Inclusion Initiative since we first launched in May 2021,” said Matt Sweeney, chief investment officer GroupM US. “By providing an intentional way for brands to support diverse-owned  media we can ensure our clients are providing a platform for diverse voices, ensuring inclusive representation and reaching broader audiences.”  ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.