Diverse-owned vendors are frustrated by their lack of relationships with ad agencies, who they say often work with companies they have an existing relationship with, making it harder for diverse-owned vendors to win business.
According to a new study by Omnicom's GSD&M, nearly three-quarters of diverse-owned vendors say this is the situation they regularly find themselves, with 46% of respondents also reporting their company does not have enough relationships with agencies.
Among the key complaints are being hired only to handle African American communication, feeling the time and energy of the RFP process wasn’t worth it, advertising turnover making nurturing relationships tricky, and frustrations with the “triple bid” process—in which three or more agencies compete for a particular job or contract.
There's been a push by the industry to help brands work with diverse suppliers. This summer, advertising trade groups released guidelines for suppliers. Created by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As) and the Association of National Advertisers along with its Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM), the guidelines were "designed to help buyers and sellers see the landscape through a more focused lens, advance engagement, and promote greater investment in the diverse supplier community,” ANA CEO Bob Liodice said when they were released. The previous guidelines targeted at marketers were released in May.