In 2021, IPG Mediabrands and MAGNA unveiled the Equity Upfront™ initiative to raise visibility of and to create opportunities for Black-owned media partners. The week-long event established a new industry precedent, positioning the agency at the vanguard of investment in diverse-owned media.
In 2022, MAGNA hosted the second annual Equity Upfront™ with the theme “Invest for Impact” at the Edison Ballroom in New York, NY, from April 5 through April 7. The hybrid in-person and virtual experience focused on highlighting opportunities for investment in diverse-owned partners and the impact of diverse audiences on media consumption and brand loyalty.
The Equity Upfront™ aims to accelerate support of Black-owned media businesses as well as media partners with Asian, Hispanic, and LGBTQIA+ ownership. The 2022 event coincided with the release of MAGNA’s latest research on Black consumers and the launch of MAGNA’s Equity Portal, an online resource exclusively available to Mediabrands’ clients and affiliates that serves as a reference guide for those seeking to invest in trusted, diverse-owned media partners.
MAGNA’s commitment to equity extends throughout the year. Monthly in 2021 and quarterly in 2022, MAGNA has hosted Equity Sessions. These ongoing webinars have featured nearly 100 diverse-owned media partners, and viewership has surpassed 2,000 attendees. Sessions have highlighted not only the strategic significance of diverse audiences but also the need for brands to connect with them in authentic, culturally resonant ways on platforms with diverse ownership.
This work is informed by MAGNA’s signature research, which continues to reveal the indisputable value of multicultural audiences. Reports including The Black American Consumer (February 2022), Hispanic/Latino Americans: Driving Popular Culture (October 2021), and The Asian American Consumer (May 2021) demonstrate the growing influence of diverse audiences and the power of representation.
The overarching goal of the Equity Upfront™ is to redress gaps in how the marketing industry engages with media businesses that are diversely owned. By facilitating deep collaboration with diverse-owned media companies, the Equity Upfront™ creates a critical pathway toward achieving Mediabrands’ 2021 commitment to invest an aggregate 5% in Black-owned media by 2023.
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