Following its 2020 announcement to increase spending with Black-owned supply enterprises by at least $500 million over the next five years, Coca-Cola North America announced plans on Tuesday to nearly double its advertising expenditure with minority-owned media companies over the next three years, according to reporting in Ad Age. Coke's goal is for black, Hispanic and Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI)-owned and led media companies and partners to comprise 8% of the company’s total annual media budget in North America by 2024.
The news comes on the heels of announcements by McDonald's, which in May pledged to more than double its spending with minority-run media companies, production houses and content creators, and agencies such as Dentsu which announced plans to help clients like General Motors direct more money to minority-owned businesses. It also comes in the wake of research from the Association of National Advertisers showing over 40% of marketers expect to spend more with diverse media companies in the coming year.
“Following a thorough analysis of our marketing spend, we recognized we could do more to support an equitable media landscape by creating growth opportunities for minority-owned and led outlets,” Coca-Cola North America Chief Marketing Officer Melanie Boulden says. Added Coke's VP of Supplier Diversity Fernando Hernandez, “We’re excited about the potential of this program to pioneer a more evolved and inclusive approach to supporting minority-owned media companies and partners. We acknowledge the disadvantages that some smaller companies have in competing for business opportunities with large multinational companies like Coca-Cola.”
Already in 2021, the beverage giant has increased its minority-owned media spend more than five times what it was in 2020, following a commitment made last year to diverse suppliers and businesses, resulting in a $800 million spend across the entire supply chain. The commitment, continuing Coca-Cola’s legacy of multicultural marketing and support of diverse-owned networks, publications and platforms, supports recent efforts to foster growth and increase the competitive advantage of Black, Hispanic and AAPI businesses and communities.
In addition to its long-standing relationships with multicultural media partners such as Essence and Univision, Coca-Cola confirmed it is working to build partnerships with Ebony/Jet, Revolt TV and My Cultura. “Historically, Black-owned media companies have not had access to advertising and sponsorship dollars on par with the impact Black people and culture have on society,” Ebony/Jet CEO Michele Ghee says. “The progress being made is promising, and Coca-Cola is showing up as a strong partner in this effort.”
Along with this effort, Coke is taking steps to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in-house by committing to match its workforce's racial and ethnic makeup to that of the U.S. population by 2030. The company is also launching a pilot certification assistance program in partnership with the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council in order to help accelerate the growth of Black, Hispanic and AAPI media partners.