General Motors lays out new framework for working with diverse media
General Motors is revamping its model for working with diverse-owned and diverse-targeted media, including hosting its own upfront dedicated to these outlets, creating a new $50 million incubation fund and rethinking measurement criteria.
The new plan follows GM’s conversations with Black-owned media outlets led by the likes of Byron Allen among others, who called for the automaker to sit down with group after claiming the company had ignored such meeting requests in the past.
“This action plan will transform our engagement model with diverse media in a sustainable way,” Deborah Wahl, GM global chief marketing officer, said in a statement. “Over the course of several weeks, we met with many diverse-owned media organizations. We are grateful for the transparency and spirit of collaboration, which helped us frame this inclusive approach.”
Diversifying media spend will be a focal point for brands and agencies heading into the upfront selling season, when media companies look to secure a bulk of their ad commitments for the new season.
Several agencies like IPG have hosted "upfronts" tailored to minority-owned and targeted media companies in the weeks leading up to the presentations by media behemoths.
GM will host a dedicated upfront with diverse media owners on May 14, ahead of the traditional media marketplace. The goal of the summit is to encourage existing and potential partners to submit an overview of their business for consideration by GM for deeper engagement, including request for proposal. The process that will be used for the selection of media will be accredited by a third party to ensure fairness and transparency, according to the company.
The auto maker is also allocating $50 million over 10 years to help support and scale diverse marketing companies. This is incremental to GM’s media spend.
One challenge brands and media agencies have expressed in working with diverse-owned media companies is around measurement and scale. To help overcome some of these challenges, GM is establishing media criteria with input from diverse media to allow for more flexibility based on the size and scale of the media organization.
GM previously announced it would increase its overall diverse media spend, including doubling its commitment for spending with Black-owned media to 2% in 2021 and 4% in 2022, with the goal of reaching 8% by 2025.
“I applaud GM for taking the results of their thoughtful and robust discussions with a significant number of diverse media entities and then developing this thorough, bold and transformational plan to increase engagement with diverse media,” Alfred Liggins, CEO of Urban One, said in a statement.