Published by SHOOT Online
NEW YORK – IPG Mediabrands will work to invest a minimum of 5% in Black-owned media channels in aggregate across all clients by 2023. Mediabrands recently held its inaugural Equity Upfront™, which served to underscore the scope and importance of Black-owned media outlets in reaching highly valuable and influential Black audiences.
Nationally, Black-focused media spend in 2020 remained below 2% of total spend, according to Nielsen Ad Intel, despite Black consumers being 13%+ of the population. In 2021, MAGNA–which is Mediabrands’ global media investment and intelligence company– estimates the available impressions for Black-owned media equates to 3% of total impressions available across all media types.
“The time is past due to embrace the opportunities to connect with influential audiences through Black-owned media,” said Daryl Lee, global CEO at Mediabrands. “Innovation and growth are flourishing across Black-owned media outlets, providing brands with deeply authentic ways to reach diverse audiences in a supportive, meaningful manner. We are excited to be adding our voice to a growing industry conversation in support of greater diversity and equity in media spend.”
The Black population in the United States is 48 million, with an average age of 32 and represents $1.4 trillion in buying power, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth and MAGNA estimates. This young and affluent audience shapes the culture, is entrepreneurial and drives growth.
Black-owned media channels are an important avenue to reach this vital segment of the U.S. population. Some of the outlets presenting at Equity Upfront™ included Blavity, Ebony, Essence, ReachTV, Revolt, The Source, Urban One and more, each uniquely positioned to help brands engage with Black consumers as part of their growing and powerful audience.
“Our MAGNA analysis unearthed a rapidly growing universe of available impressions reaching highly sought-after Black audiences. We have been working with our clients to match client business goals with the authentic reach and engagement of these properties,” said Dani Benowitz, president, U.S., of MAGNA. “We are confident that embracing a new framework for equity investment in media will deliver tangible returns for our clients and provide opportunities to redefine a media ecosystem where all audiences feel welcomed and included.”
A 2019 MAGNA and IPG Lab report revealed how engaged Black audiences are, with two-thirds wanting companies to speak up about the social issues they are passionate about. Media is a key connector for brands that want to drive change.
MAGNA launched the Equity Upfront™ as part of a long-term equity and equality strategic investment initiative designed to foster deeper exposure for and partnerships with Black-owned media partners. In addition to hosting monthly equity sessions that present the unique content and marketing capabilities of Black-owned media across available media channels, MAGNA and Mediabrands will host inside track sessions that create opportunities to learn, iterate and grow together. In 2021, MAGNA will also host equity sessions for Asian American and Pacific Islander, Hispanic, and LGBTQI identifying media companies.
“Mediabrands and MAGNA are taking the steps to redress a long-term systemic gap in how all underrepresented groups are considered in media planning and investment processes. The work that MAGNA is doing to identify gaps in equitable investment, properly identify and size the equity landscape and shape breakthrough partnerships with overlooked media, will be the most consequential work we do in our careers and we are excited to share it with the industry today,” said Lee.