Dentsu International has taken a significant step toward addressing inequities within media buying with the appointment of Mark Prince to introduce opportunities for clients to increase spend with Black and minority-owned companies.
The new emphasis forms part of a commitment by the firm to deliver ‘Economic Empowerment’ by leveling the media buying playing field.
What is meant by Economic Empowerment?
Prince will head up a new team to support minority-owned media companies by helping to create new client benchmarks to reach diverse media audiences.
To achieve this a registry of all minority-owned partners will be created, while media owners will be offered consultancy services and feedback. Prince’s team will also drive fresh content creation and broaden definitions to incorporate all diverse targeted media networks.
These efforts will be augmented by the formal launch of Infronts, a Dentsu initiative to pair minority-owned business partners with internal investment and client opportunities.
A new focus
Leading these initiatives as head of economic empowerment, Prince will bear responsibility for developing and managing the supplier diversity program, reporting directly to Doug Rozen, chief executive of Dentsu Media – Americas.
Described as a ‘change agent’, Prince brings over 20 years of experience to bear on the role having previously served as managing partner and executive vice-president of media services at diversity specialists Professional Partnering Solutions.
Before this Prince devoted much of his career to local media as a broadcast buying director at GSD&M, overseeing heavyweight brands such as AT&T.
What does Dentsu say?
Rozen said: “One and done activity to diversify media investment is not acceptable. Agencies have built teams with dozens of people focused on areas like safety or productivity. Now we must have teams addressing investment inequality.
“It’s a real opportunity to address the discrimination within the media supply chain. Mark will help amplify the voices and perspectives of diverse-owned and targeted media companies and cultivate more diverse supplier inclusion.”
Prince added: “There was a seriousness from Denstu about making real change that resonated with me. I have experienced first-hand the legitimate issues and challenges minority-owned media, especially Black-owned media, have and continue to face within the advertising landscape. This new offering is an important step in providing economic inclusion for diverse-owned media companies. I am excited to lead this new practice to ensure these important voices and outlets are valued and heard.”
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)
Dentsu has established DEI initiatives as a core pillar for its biggest global media partnerships.
Early progress to date includes a strategic partnership with minority-owned OZY Media as well as Hero Collective.
In partnership with Urban One earlier this year, Dentsu launched the ‘More Than That with Gia Peppers’ audio series to propagate diverse voices.
Dentsu has also authored a DEI digital partner framework called PRISM to analyze investments and ensure that they are representative of the US population.
Dentsu had previously committed itself to a 50:50 gender leadership balance by 2020.
Check out all the big network’s DE&I pledges.