In 2020, advertisers jumped at the chance to show their support for Black people through numerous pledges to increase spending with Black-owned media.

The million-dollar question three years later is, did they follow through on that promise?

In a report, Ad Age revealed that it received responses from seven Black-owned media companies. Although not all of them reported dollar figures by brand or agency, it was proven that the organizations did increase, rather than decrease, the ad dollars spent.

They also noted that there was a dramatic increase, particularly in 2022, but this was taken on account of low bases.

“The data from the Ad Age survey and other sources suggest marketer commitment to spending on Black-owned media, which was sparked by the unrest following the 2020 murder of George Floyd, continues to grow,” said the company in the report. “Such measurement is complicated in part by the fact that some marketers, such as Verizon and Procter and Gamble, have focused on programmatic buying of Black-owned media where possible, while some Black-owned publishers have resisted programmatic deals and tried to preserve their direct relationships with agencies and brands. This has ignited a debate as to whether programmatic is a move toward efficiency and spending or just a way to cut costs.”

What Are The Findings

What’s more, data from the Standard Media Index (SMI), which puts together spending data from holding companies and leading independent media agencies, concluded that spending with Black-owned media companies totaled $880 million, tripling since 2020.

Furthermore, despite the fact that Black-owned companies only made up 42% of diverse-owned outlets, spending with the organizations amounted to 62%.

While the growth looks appealing, the math is simply not adding up when it comes to the overall picture of spending within Black-owned media organizations.

“Despite that growth, spending on all diverse-owned media made up only 1.85% of total spending measured by SMI in 2022, and spending on Black-owned media comprised only 1.16%,” read the report.

The Response

REVOLT CEO Detavio Samuels reacted to the findings via LinkedIn.

“This means that Black media was not even 1% of the market in 2020; we just got to 1% in 2022 in a year where several brands doubled their spend,” he wrote. “Make it make sense to me… How is it that Black culture has such a massive influence on global culture but our media platforms are starved from the economics of one of the most powerful industries in the world?”

Brands and agencies in the report include Target, Coca-Cola, Verizon, Procter and Gamble, McDonald’s, and General Motors.