General Motors has confirmed that it will double its ad spending with Black-owned media.
In a recent press release, General Motors stated that it will increase its spending with Black-owned media to 4 percent of its overall ad budget next year, up from the 2 percent budget allocation for 2021. GM also says that it plans to increase ad spending with Black-owned media to 8 percent of its annual budget by 2025.
Additionally, General Motors committed to a “Diverse-Owned Media Summit” on May 14th that will “encourage existing and potential partners to submit an overview of their business for consideration by GM for deeper engagements beyond the summit, including a request for proposal.”
The recent release also includes the announcement of a Diverse Marketing Incubator fund, with $50 million allocated over 10 years to support and scale diverse marketing companies, as well as an Inclusive Measurement Rubric for greater flexibility on the size and scale of the media organization, and a Prospective Partnering Analysis for selecting diverse media outlets.
“This action plan will transform our engagement model with diverse media in a sustainable way,” said GM global chief marketing officer, Deborah Wahl. “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.”
General Motors was recently criticized by Black media leaders for not spending enough of its ad budget with Black-owned media outlets. In March, Allen Media Group took out a full-page ad in The Detroit Free Press stating that GM spends “less than 0.5 percent” of its advertising with Black-owned media. The Detroit Free Press ad, titled “General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra refuses to sit down with Black Owned Media Companies,” was signed by several leaders of some the largest Black-owned media companies in the U.S., and requested a one-hour Zoom meeting with Barra and key board members.
After initially agreeing to a meeting, General Motors later canceled, opting instead for individual meetings with Black media executives in order to foster “meaningful dialogue” and to allow for an “[extended] conversation to include [GM’s] existing Black-owned media partners.”
In response, Allen expressed his disappointment, saying that “Mary didn’t live up to her word and show up for a one-hour Zoom meeting that she scheduled with Black-owned media, who wrote her an open letter.”