It's no secret that, historically, there has been a lack of accountability when it comes to advertisers’ allocating spending in alignment with their stated corporate values. Specifically, spending with Black- and women-owned media companies have been hurt by the swift migration of ad dollars away from publisher content to social media and search advertising. Over the past two years, as corporations have begun to consider their accountability to racial justice, and following high-profile lawsuits from industry leaders like Byron Allen, founder and CEO of Allen Media Group, some big brands have committed to investing at least 2-5% of their ad budgets with Black-owned media.
But we have a long way to go in funding diversity of voices in publishing. Despite these small victories, the community has been showered with more virtue signaling and grand gestures than actual dollars: SHE Media’s recent survey of its community of more than 2,000 independent publishers and influencers indicates that under-represented media is still waiting to see impact.
Less than 15% of respondents said they have received increased outreach directly from advertisers in recent months. However, many publishers are optimistic about the future. 74% of respondents either believe or somewhat believe that advertisers will follow through on their commitment to investing in historically under-served publishers and creators. The issue of timing and metrics remain up for debate. Of the respondents who do believe advertisers will follow through on their investment commitment, 52% believe they will see incremental investments in under-served publishers within 6 months or a year while 22% of respondents believe it will take more than a year.