*General Motors canceled a virtual meeting scheduled for Thursday between CEO Mary Barra and several Black-owned media executives who called her out in an ad this week.
As EURweb.com previously reported, Barra has agreed to meet with the group after Byron Allen, who is the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Allen Media Group, took out a full-page ad on page 3A in Sunday’s Detroit Free Press, accusing Barra of racism for refusing to meet with them “consistently, over time and after multiple requests.”
On Monday GM’s Chief Marketing Officer Deborah Wahl had a preliminary meeting with Allen and several of the men who signed the ad. A follow-up meeting has reportedly been set with Barra for Thursday, per Detroit Free Press.
Per Detroit News, GM is now planning to host meetings over the next few weeks with Black-owned media executives, including those who took out the ad.
The ad is signed by the heads of the seven Black-owned media companies including rapper and actor Ice Cube, who co-founded pro-basketball league BIG3, Allen is head of Allen Media Group, and former NBA player Ulysses “Junior” Bridgeman, who bought Ebony Media last year, Roland Martin, Todd Brown, founder of Urban Edge Networks, Don Jackson, founder of Central City Productions, and Earl ‘Butch’ Graves, president and CEO of Black Enterprise.
EURweb previously reported that Allen fired off letters of intent to major ad brands in which he warned of plans to take legal action against them if they don’t support Black-owned media. Allen is calling on ad agencies to allocate a minimum of 2% of their budgets to Black-owned media or face legal action.
The automaker now plans to increase its spending with that Black-owned media to 4% in 2022 and will continue to increase spending with a target of 8% by 2025.
“Black-owned media are a vital component of our marketing mix, and we evaluate our spend for media partners through several core metrics, including transparency, innovation, ad quality, audience delivery and brand safety,” General Motors said in a statement Thursday, Variety reports. The company intends to further strengthen its relationship with diverse media owners by rolling out an“upfront” process in May “that encourages partners and potential partners to submit business proposals” and “will be accredited by a third-party to ensure fairness and transparency.”
General Motors also responded to the group’s allegations of racism in a statement: “General Motors aspires to be the most inclusive company in the world, and that includes how we allocate media spend. We have increased our planned spending with both diverse-owned and diverse-dedicated media across our family of brands,” per the statement.
“Additionally, we continue to develop and advance initiatives like the Chevrolet “Real Talk, Real Change” platform and support projects like “More than That with Gia Peppers,” where we’ve partnered with the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters on a content series for Black American listeners produced and distributed by underrepresented businesses. In this same spirit, we will continue to have an open dialogue with Mr. Allen,” the statement continued.