The 4As today issued what it’s describing as a “Fair Play Charter” to its members, asking media agencies, and media departments within agencies, to recommit to fair and equitable treatment of minority media owners.
Apparently, there may still be a “redlining” issue when it comes to media buying.
Which should come as a shock in this day and age, especially in light of the great efforts made by the current POTUS to promote diversity and inclusivity. Yes, I’m being facetious.
Anyway, the charter, written by the 4A’s Media Leadership Council (MLC), was inspired, according to the organization, by discussions with Kizart Media Partners and the multicultural media owner community to address questions around perceived “no Hispanic”/“no urban” dictates in the media-buying process.
“No Hispanic”/“no urban” dictates describe a practice in which agencies and the brands they represent make media-buying decisions that are non-inclusive of media owned by or targeted to African Americans or Latinos. The Fair Play Charter also extends to include targeted media of other special-interest communities.
View it here. It asks agencies to commit to the charter or to incorporate the charter into agency policies and procedures.
Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, praised the effort, stating: “I support and commend the efforts of the 4As, Kizart Media Partners, and minority media advocates to address discrimination in the media industry head-on. Everyone deserves a level playing field, and Fair Play is a crucial step towards achieving equal access and treatment for all, including eliminating discrimination.”
Louis Jones, executive vice president, media and data, at the 4As, said of the charter: “It’s important that we match the conversations and policies around fairness and equality in the work space with equal attention, energy and action around being fair in how we choose our media partners. This diversity and equality issue surfaces from time to time, and it is important that we remain cognizant of unfair treatment and not let it let affect industry practices or societal perception.”
Sherman Kizart, managing director at Kizart Media Partners, said of the new charter: “It’s an important step toward helping to create a level playing field in the trillion-dollar media landscape.”
In 2008, the FCC released a Report and Order on diversity, requiring that all broadcasters’ advertising contracts contain clauses ensuring that there is no discrimination based on race or gender in the sale of advertising time.
Of course, broadcasting is just one of a growing multitude of channels that advertisers can place their bets on.It’s not precisely clear how pervasive media redlining is in this day and age. And no, it’s not a shock that it exists to some extent. Let’s hope this new 4A’s charter contributes to eradicating it.