Publicis Media Aims to Drive More Investment in Multicultural Media

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Publicis Media said it would launch a “multi-year” effort aimed at getting advertisers to invest more regularly in media outlets that cater to people from a broader range of cultures and background, part of a growing effort by Madison Avenue to rectify years of focusing mainly on mainstream media as vehicles for the majority of clients’ advertising.

Publicis, the media-buying arm of Publicis Groupe of France, said it had launched the Once & For All Coalition, a group that hopes to establish “equitable investment” with minority-owned media; develop minority creators and content; and press requirements for sustainable infrastructure.

The coalition is open to all of Publicis Groupe’s clients, and the company said 21 advertisers and 23 media outlets owned by minorities or that aim for minority audiences have joined the effort. The Coalition also includes industry groups such as the Association of National Advertisers and the Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing, and Publicis expects the group to expand to include more members over time.

One of the essential elements of the effort are a series of concepts that will allow for longer-term planning, rather than making investments purely transactional. “How do the supplier and the advertisers create multi-year relationships that help them mutually understand how do drive business together?” asked Jason Smith, president of diversified investments at Publicis Media’s Spark Foundry, in an interview. “We are pretty aware of the fact that there are some really rigorous measurement protocols that advertisers need and if just toss money at this today without thinking about those measurement protocols, not only do you render those efforts unsuccessful, but you make them unattractive.”

Publicis Media has committed $25 million to help fund the creation of content for diverse audiences through its APX Content Ventures unit. The company and its clients also intend to increase investment in minority-owned and targeted media outlets and fund  “research, measurement, content creation and evolving infrastructure solutions as deemed necessary by the

Publicis Groupe is the latest of several big advertising companies to unveil efforts to ensure media aimed at multicultural audiences gets a bigger share of clients’ dollars. Both Interpublic Group and WPP Group have also launched new efforts to bring advertisers closer to media that serve audiences of broader backgrounds.

“True equity requires sustainability, and our goal with the Once & For All Coalition is to take a long-term approach, consistent with the population change and fast-rising majority,” said Lisa Torres, president of Publicis Media’s Cultural Quotient unit. “We have spent many years working toward more inclusive investment and supplier diversity, but in order to drive true change we need all industry players working together.”