GM boosts ad spending with Black-owned media in wake of racism allegations

Company pledges to increase ad spending to 8% by 2025

In wake of ad alleging racism, GM boosts ad spending with diverse-owned media

After George Floyd’s death last summer, General Motors CEO Mary Barra appeared with other Metro Detroit business leaders saying, “We want to be part of meaningful, deliberate change. We’ll not allow ourselves the passivity of urging others to act.”

However, Barra hadn’t met with Black-owned media outlets, which prompted Detroit native Byron Allen to publish an ad accusing Barra of systemic racism by ignoring multiple requests for meetings.

“It was a very bold move. It was meant to generate reaction and borderline controversy and all in all, it worked,” said automotive expert Peter Delorenzo.

READ: GM responds to allegations of racism

READ: GM postpones meeting with Black-owned media executives

Barra has now met with many of the ad CEOs.

GM has committed to increase ad spending from half a percent of the billions spent every year to 2% in 2021, 4% in 2022 and 8% by 2025.

A statement from the company said in part: “On May 14, GM will hold a dedicated upfront with diverse media owners ahead of the traditional media marketplace.”

Michelle Robinson, CEO of the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council said she is encouraged by the company’s move.

“None of our businesses want a handout. They want the opportunity to compete and to provide competitive products and services to companies like GM. So at the end of the day, we want to create value,” Robinson said.

About the Author:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.