Havas Media Group has launched a social equity private marketplace made up of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and LGTBQ+ owned media businesses, which allows clients to positively invest funds in underrepresented businesses.
This platform comes as part of the agency’s latest commitment to exploring meaningful media and recognising the need for equitable treatment of businesses that are traditionally underrepresented in the marketing industry. The rollout will begin in the US, with Michelin and Moen as the first brands to benefit from the marketplace. A rollout to international markets is planned for later this year, as stated on the press release.
Peter Mears, global CEO of Havas Media Group said it was important for the company to launch a product that allowed clients to take positive actions with their media spend as desired, just like how a bank could create or manage socially responsible funds, especially so in a time where consumer and client sentiment was focused on social action in many forms. He added that Havas Media Group’s role was to advise clients of the opportunity to support businesses in a system that previously did not make it easy for brands to support minority-owned companies.
Mears also said the new global offering stemmed from Havas Media Group’s core strategy to “make a meaningful difference to brands, businesses, and people,” and its mission to understand the most “meaningful media” – the media channels, moments, and brands that really moved consumers to action, adding that a media that was trusted, engaging, and influential had the “best chance of helping brands reach an engaged audience”.
“As an agency that is built on delivering the best possible media experience and has invested in and investigated what we call ‘meaningful media,’ we do not believe that all impressions are created equal,” We also see that it is our duty to provide clients with alternative routes to reaching and engaging consumers if media spend is divested from one platform or partner into another. This is just one step we are taking within our own business. We have more work to do as an agency and industry when it comes to diversity and equity,” Mears explained.
Meanwhile, Andrew Goode, EVP and head of Biddable Media at Havas Media North America said as the industry partner, Biddable Media encouraged media businesses to be ‘meaningful’ in every sense—from the “brand safety they provided as media partners, through to its corporate behaviors as organisations”. “We could not be more excited to launch this program first in the US before expanding to our global clients,” Goode added.
Edna Johnson, VP communication and brands of Michelin North America said the company was “very pleased to have the opportunity to support Black, Indigenous, POC, LGBTQ+ businesses and media partners” through this marketplace and commended Havas Media for establishing this platform. “This initiative will be important across our North American business,” Johnson added.
Separately, other companies have also been stepping up to show support for the BIPOC community. Recently, workforce solutions company ManpowerGroup Singapore launched #PridePass, an initiative aimed at driving diversity and inclusion in the workplace by providing a platform for more job opportunities for LGBTQ from inclusive organisations, in partnership with global brand experience agency VMLY&R. This launch came in celebration of Pride month, and recognised the discrimination faced by the minorities in the workplace when applying for jobs.
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