Music artist, producer, and entrepreneur Sean “Diddy” Combs has criticized General Motors for insufficient advertising spending in Black-owned media.
In an open letter published to Revolt.tv, the news and entertainment website for the music-oriented Revolt cable network that Combs launched in 2013, Combs calls on General Motors to invest further spending in Black-owned media outlets.
In the open letter, Combs outlines General Motors’ ad spending allocation, including with Revolt.
“While Revolt does receive advertising revenue from GM, our relationship is not an example of success,” Combs writes. “Instead, Revolt, just like other Black-owned media companies, fights for crumbs while GM makes billions of dollars every year from the Black community.”
Late last month, Allen Media Group issued a full-page ad in The Detroit Free Press pressuring General Motors to increase its marketing budget allocation for Black-owned media companies. The ad was signed by leaders of some of the largest Black-owned media companies in the U.S.
“Corporations like General Motors have exploited our culture, undermined our power, and excluded Black entrepreneurs from participating in the value created by Black consumers,” Combs writes in the open letter published on Revolt. “In 2019, brands spent $239 billion on advertising. Less than 1 percent of that was invested in Black-owned media companies. Out of the roughly $3 billion General Motors spent on advertising, we estimate only $10 million was invested in Black-owned media.”
The open letter goes on to demand that American corporations spend at least 15 percent of its advertising with Black-owned media.
“If you love us, pay us!” Combs writes. “Not a token investment. Not a charity check or donation.”
Following the full-page ad issued in March, GM CEO Mary Barra agreed to meet with Allen Media Group founder Byron Allen, as well as the owners and leaders of various other Black-owned American media groups. The group meeting was later cancelled in lieu of individual meetings with Black media executives. General Motors also agreed to increase ad spending with Black-owned media companies, estimating current spending at 2 percent, with an increase to 4 percent in 2022 and 8 percent in 2025.