IPG Mediabrands’ MAGNA Unveils Day One of Its First-Ever Equity Upfront™

15 Mar 2021

IPG Mediabrands and MAGNA launched day one of a first-of-its-kind Equity Upfront™, an annual weeklong event during the week of March 15th, to raise visibility for Black-owned and Black-targeted media businesses. Day one of the event features Upfront presentations by Black-owned media partners including Entertainment Studios’ The Grio, Essence Communications, Inc., Revolt and Urban One, as well as Black-targeted networks BET and OWN. Later in the week, the event will share presentations from more Black-owned media partners including Blavity, Black Enterprise, Ebony & Jet, Mirror Digital, National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (“NABOB”), American Urban Radio Networks, Central City Productions TV, NuTime Media, The Source and ReachTV.

Led by Mediabrands entity MAGNA, the leading global media investment and intelligence company, the first day of the Equity Upfront™ kicked off with an introduction from the MAGNA team highlighting insights on the Black audience and Black media consumption, followed by six scheduled Black-owned and Black-targeted media partner presentations. The rest of the week will feature additional media partner presentations. The goal of these presentations is twofold: giving the partners the opportunity and access to Mediabrands clients and learning about how to market to them. For clients, it provides the opportunity to understand the importance of Black audiences and why they should target them in their media investment strategies.

MAGNA plans to host subsequent monthly Equity experiences focusing on specific media channels and has already earmarked April to focus on Black audio and podcast media properties. The Equity Upfront™ will initially focus on partnerships with Black-owned and Black-targeted media businesses, with future efforts expanding to include other underrepresented media platforms including, but not limited to, the Latinx, Asian and LGBTQIA+ audiences.

“We are excited to host the kickoff of our Equity Upfront™ initiative by welcoming Black-owned and Black-targeted media partners to present to our clients,” said Joy Profet, EVP, Head of Growth & Operations, MAGNA. “This event is one tactic in a bigger strategy to build deeper partnerships with and access for platforms that create engaging and responsible content for valuable and influential Black audiences. We hope to add even more media partners as the Equity Upfront™ gains increased industry recognition.”

“We must take accountable steps forward to address the inequities in how we invest, said Dani Benowitz, President, U.S., MAGNA. “This is the start of MAGNA and Mediabrands’ work, focusing on giving access to media partners across BIPOC audiences and helping to gear investment strategies toward multicultural consumers. MAGNA intelligence was critical in revealing growing media consumption habits and the ever-increasing buying power of these important audiences. It’s a logical step to educate our clients and agency partners so they can include them in this year’s media strategy.”

On the heels of launching the Equity Upfront™, IPG Mediabrands committed to investing a minimum of 5% in Black-owned media across all of its clients by 2023.

“The time is past due to embrace the opportunities to connect with influential audiences through Black-owned media,” Daryl Lee, global CEO at Mediabrands, said in a statement. “Innovation and growth are flourishing across Black-owned media outlets, providing brands with deeply authentic ways to reach diverse audiences in a supportive, meaningful manner. We are excited to be adding our voice to a growing industry conversation in support of greater diversity and equity in media spend,” he continued.