“Boosting Diversity in the Media by Helping Minority-Owned Companies Grow”

From a Wall Street Journal story by Alexandra Bruell headlined “Dentsu Creates Unit to Boost Diversity in Media”:

Dentsu Inc. is launching a stand-alone division aimed at boosting diversity in the media industry by helping minority-owned companies grow and connecting them to ad buyers looking to direct more dollars to such firms.

The advertising holding company’s new offering, dubbed Economic Empowerment, will be led by the recently hired veteran ad buyer Mark Prince, who will consult with the media businesses about how they can grow their operations and generate more ad revenue from marketers, many of which are looking to reach ethnically diverse audiences, Dentsu said.

“There’s a lot of competition to get ad dollars, so people sometimes tend to work with the partners they know,” said Mr. Prince. “You have to be willing to be educated and open minded, looking at things that are not part of the familiar universe.”

The goal is to work closely with the planning and buying teams to ensure that clients can get in front of the right audiences as populations grow more diverse, said Doug Rozen, CEO of Dentsu Media….

Mr. Rozen said Dentsu is planning to grow the unit to between 10 and 20 people. It has a repository of around 500 media companies for advertisers to consider, but many are small businesses. There aren’t many large, established, minority-owned media companies, said Mr. Rozen.

One reason they don’t grow more quickly is that many aren’t tracked by media measurement firms such as Nielsen. The small companies also often can’t agree to the lengthy waits for payment that are typical of big media deals, he said.

“We’re figuring out what those barriers are,” said Mr. Prince. Some media properties may need help with business development, he said, while others may need help increasing their capacity to sell more ads….

Dentsu joins nearly all its rivals, including Omnicom Group Inc., WPP PLC, Interpublic Group of Cos. and Havas, in creating offerings aimed at spurring investments with minority-owned media companies….

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