Publicis Media Announces Open-Source Diversity Coalition

By Larissa Faw 

Publicis Media's new diversity group

While the industry has made substantial strides in allocating media spend with minority-owned media and pledges for how the industry would like to approach better representation of diverse consumers in media, Publicis Media is launching its own initiative concentrating on the sustainable business engagement between suppliers and advertisers. This newly titled Once & For All Coalition is a multi-year, industry-wide initiative to drive real progress in cross-media measurement and performance.

By creating an open-source solution that includes a wide array of participants, “we actually provide a collaborative, non-biased perspective that allows this effort to focus on what matters most,” Jason Smith, president, diversified investments, Spark Foundry and co-lead for the Coalition told Adweek. “True long term and sustainable business growth for advertisers and suppliers.”

Coalition membership is open to all Publicis Groupe clients and 21 companies from across the organization’s client roster have signed onto its first wave of participation.


These members join 23 minority-owned and targeted suppliers, with an early focus on Black and Hispanic, that include industry the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM). This roster will continue to expand to include more members over time.

These members will focus on creating solutions in three core areas: establishing equitable investment with minority owned and targeted media supply; development of minority creators, content and media; and advancing sustainable infrastructure requirements and best practices.

PM will establish investment with minority-owned and targeted media supply, including an initial $25 million into diverse content creation via its APX Content Ventures offering. In addition, media and client participants will make a multi-year commitment to increasing investment against minority-owned and targeted media, as well as a financial commitment to fund research, measurement, content creation and evolving infrastructure solutions as deemed necessary by the group.

The Coalition is differentiated in its approach in that it will democratize access for the myriad of suppliers that provide value to consumers of underrepresented communities but are often overlooked when agencies complain about “lack of scale,” Smith said. “It’s this openness, the inquisition, that we believe provides tremendous value to advertisers looking to innovate in a constantly changing marketing environment, while disrupting traditional notions of scale and quality of supply.”

The coalition also seeks to directly challenges participants to reimagine “hidden practices” like revenue shares, hiring practices, and contract reward procedures that continue to tilt the ball towards traditional platforms in the industry. “[This is a] critical aspect of truly ‘growing the pie’ of opportunity and enabling fair economic benefit as the industry embraces change,” Smith said.

The group hosted its first meeting two weeks ago with 21 of clients and 23 suppliers, as well as organizations such as AIMM and outside experts in economics, measurement, supplier diversity.

Together, they participated in a candid group discussion, dedicated panel and breakout sessions, as well as an economist review of spend benchmarking against minority-owned media suppliers.

Looking forward, members will continue to meet quarterly with leading thought leaders to advance their efforts, all of which will be open-source for the entire industry – not just active participants. Their first year-end summary and progress report will be released in Q4 2021.

“Evaluation criteria, measurement, panel representation, payment terms, revenue share requirements – these all sit at the core of what has gotten us here today,” Smith said. “This coalition is deeply focused on finally removing these barriers, within tangible time periods, so that advertisers and suppliers can not only do better work together this year, but long into the future.”