Condé Nast commits to diversity in NewFronts pitch
Condé Nast, under fire in recent weeks for fostering an internal culture of racism, has committed to providing a platform for new voices, diverse content and inclusive programming that is more representative of multicultural audiences and communities.
Condé Nast CEO Roger Lynch addressed the NewFronts audience live on Tuesday to discuss the backlash the company has received and how it is prioritizing diversity and inclusion. "It shouldn't take the horrendous murder of George Floyd for us to wake up as a society," he said.
Earlier this month, Matt Duckor, who had served as head of lifestyle video programming, left the company after staffers claimed Condé Nast did not feature people of color in videos or did not pay them for appearances. Drucker’s old tweets, which contained racist and homophobic content, were resurfaced. Bon Appetit’s Adam Rapoport also left the company following allegations of racial discrimination.
Lynch says Condé Nast is holding a mirror up to itself noting the action taken at Bon Appetit and promising a new vision for everything food.
Lynch says 30 percent of Condé Nast's workforce include people of color and the company is assembling a new external anti-racism advisory council to work alongside its editorial team.
Reginald Williams, senior VP, digital programming, also addressed the "elephant in the kitchen" at Bon Appetit and said that brand and all of Condé Nast is committed to diversity both in front of and behind the camera.
In a press release, the publisher noted one show for GQ Sports, “Training My Double,” which will be directed exclusively by Black filmmakers.
Beyond diversity and inclusion efforts, Condé Nast is also looking to capitalize retailers prioritizing e-commerce efforts amid pandemic lockdowns. It will make all of its video content capable of being shoppable with Prime Shoppable. The technology can be implemented no matter if the content runs on Condé Nast’s owned and operated sites or on social channels including Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and YouTube. GQ’s “Grooming Gods,” which features the self-care routines of celebrities, will be the first series to debut with the technology.
Condé Nast will double down on its efforts around live programming with Prime Live, which gives advertisers access to high-profile events including Vogue’s Met Gala and Vanity Fair Oscar Red Carpet. It is also launching a podcast network with seven new podcasts, including “In Vogue,” presented by Anna Wintour, which chronicles the collision of fashion and culture in the 1990s.
Condé Nast is also looking to prove it delivers viewers advertisers are unable to find elsewhere. The company cites Nielsen Media Impact data, which says Condé Nast has delivered 22 million unique incremental individuals who were not reached by broadcast or cable, and adds 27 percent incremental reach against adults 18-34.
Condé Nast is touting 150 new pilots and 57 returning series during its presentation. Despite the pandemic lockdowns, Condé Nast’s Chief Revenue Officer Pamela Drucker Mann says the publisher hasn’t had to cease production because its programming is largely unscripted, and thus, is able to guarantee new content.
New programming includes the IGTV show “AD Visits,” in which Architectural Digest’s editor-in-chief leads a conversation on contemporary design; a weekly talk show from GQ, “The Run-Through;” Pitchfork’s “Critical Breakthroughs,” which discusses the creative process with musicians; Self magazine’s “Hour by Hour,” which follows fitness professionals on a typical day in their lives; and Vogue’s “Vegan Cooking with Tabitha Brown.”
With the future of live sports uncertain amid COVID-19, Condé Nast announced a deal between GQ Sports and the National Basketball Players Association for a series for a streaming service and four digital shows with NBA talent. GQ Sports is also programming more than 15 shows for the 2020-2021 season.