Curious about what you can do this Black History Month?

By Amanda Forrester in Brands & Agencies, Life at OpenX|February 15, 2024

Outcomes matter

We’re halfway through Black History Month, and I want to challenge my friends and colleagues across the marketing/advertising/tech landscape to be thoughtful and innovative about how we approach diversity and responsible media in general in our industry. 

As a Black employee, I think it’s all too common for adtech to get caught up in the semantics of making our industry more inclusive rather than the tangible steps of actually fostering inclusivity and equity. I frankly don’t care about the term “black list” or “white list,” or the lip service that a small portion of our industry provides once a year. I care about outcomes. 

What do I mean by outcomes? Representation at the executive level, a sense of inclusion and belonging in our companies, diversity in media and content creation, the recognition that no one person can speak for an entire demographic, and innovative solutions that allow brands/agencies and publishers to improve access to opportunities for communities of color and sectors of the population that are underrepresented in general. 

Starting somewhere meaningful

When many partners attempt to diversify their media-buying, they most often start with simple questions like, “What percentage of your company is diverse?” and “Do you have access to minority-owned media – if so, list below.” 

While this is a great starting point, it’s also a little bit lazy. We all know that any decent supply-side platform has access to almost all of the “diverse-owned media.” We also know that outside of Group Black and a small handful of organizations, the vetting of some of these classifications is suspect at best. 

The goal is not to highlight what’s wrong but how we can innovate together to be more impactful. I firmly believe that the lack of meaningful progress is  not because brands and agencies don’t want it; it’s because adtech is not as diverse as it could be and that most organizations are more concerned about “unlocking that cash flow” than they are about making a difference. 

Measurable impact

So how can we do more? One, keep purchasing minority-owned media. At the same time, look at the makeup of those organizations. Two, work with companies who are innovating to create measurable impact. 

To that end, OpenX has launched a new solution called Impact PMPs in partnership with Givsly. Through these Impact PMPs, 5 percent of gross media spend is directly contributed to the 501(c)(3) organizations, communities, and causes of the buyers choice. 

For Black History Month, Impact PMPs can help ensure equality of opportunity — while delivering quality media performance. Specifically, Givsly Impact PMPs allow people to support 501(c)(3) organizations like The Creative Ladder, founded by Dionna Dorsey, that are helping to diversify the creative business so that ad content, and media content has a more representative makeup. 

Is this a silver bullet? No. Is it a start to innovating and diversifying the media/tech space? Yes. And my favorite part of this program is that it’s not exclusive to a month or a specific cause. Through our partnership with Givsly, brands can donate 5 percent of their gross media spend to LGBTQ organizations, minority programs, programs that support women, sustainability programs, and so much more.

Take action today with one of OpenX’s Impact PMPs — powered by Givsly. Download the one-sheet here.