Facebook excluded, US media giants unite to better serve a multicultural ‘new majority'

Brands such as P&G have recently begun to address about racial minorities in their advertising

The biggest players in US media – Facebook excluded – have formed a cross-industry coalition to better understand multicultural audiences as the country hurtles towards ‘minority white’ status.

Led by WPP’s media company GroupM, the New Majority Ready Coalition will comprise representatives from Disney, Google, iHeartMedia, Meredith Corporation, NBCUniversal, Twitter, Univision and Viacom.

As one half of the digital media duopoly, Facebook is notably absent from the list of participants. Gonzalo del Fa, president of multicultural at GroupM, noted the coalition was in its "first phase" and hopes it "will be able to welcome other leaders to join this movement" at a later date.

A Facebook rep said it was not aware of the coalition's formation. GroupM would not comment further on whether the social giant was invited.

The coalition aims to reeducate media owners and planners in their craft as racial minority audiences gain dominance in the US demographic. The Census projects the nation will become “minority white” by 2045, forcing the media to reevaluate the 20th century practices developed when it was speaking to one homogenous audience.

The press release announcing the coalition noted that while many brand owners have embraced diversity and inclusion initiatives, there is evidence that media investment strategies have not progressed in the same way.

"The multicultural demographic in America is increasingly fueling the economy – it currently represents 40% of the U.S. population – yet ad dollars are disproportionately low at just 5%," said del Fa.

Oswald Méndez and Jacqueline Hernández, who previously ran New Majority Ready as an LLC consultancy, will “assist with the creation and development of the coalition’s tools and solutions”. The company inspired the name of the group.

These tools include cross-platform content and media "solutions"; a benchmarking tool that assesses a brand’s readiness for the demographic shift; and an industry campaign that will encourage marketers and media execs to garner a better understanding of how America’s population is set to change.

“The facts clearly point to an exciting opportunity for brands to engage and grow with a rising population who command and influence significant purchasing power in the US and will only increase,” said Tim Castree, chief executive of GroupM.

“With respect to this cultural reality and in recognition of the business opportunity, we hope that by bringing the industry together we can better understand the new majority and build authentic, sustainable and engaging brand relationships with them."

Del Fa noted that the New Majority Ready Coalition was not the only group recently established to educate the media landscape on its new consumer. In 2016 the ANA set up its Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing, which recently published a new metric for driving brand growth among multicultural audiences.

“While we acknowledge the steep climb ahead to better reflect the new majority in our own industry and workforces, it’s exciting and validating to be a part of and witness the many leading organizations ... who recognize and are acting on the rising new majority,” he added.

While digital and broadcast media rallies its attempt to speak to diverse audiences, The New York Times has struggled to do so. The paper shuttered its Spanish language platform after three years in operation on Tuesday (17 September).

BuzzFeed News Mexico and HuffPost Mexico also folded earlier this year.

Get The Drum Newsletter

Build your marketing knowledge by choosing from daily news bulletins or a weekly special.