AIMM's GrowthFronts Ignites a Movement Towards Inclusive Media Spending

By Upfronts/NewFronts Archives
Cover image for  article: AIMM's GrowthFronts Ignites a Movement Towards Inclusive Media Spending

In just two short years, the Alliance For Inclusion and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM) has transformed its annual GrowthFronts into the pinnacle event for a rapidly expanding group of television ventures championed by diverse entrepreneurs and organizations, including those from the LGBTQ community. Dubbed as the essential platform for these trailblazers, the event's latest edition, hosted at the City University of New York's graduate center in the bustling heart of midtown Manhattan, witnessed a remarkable increase in participation. From its inaugural gathering last winter, which saw 40 exhibitors, the 2024 assembly ballooned to 75 participants over the final two days of February, underscoring the event's meteoric rise in prominence and importance.

The Urgent Call for Change:

AIMM's clarion call is unambiguous: It's high time for advertisers and agencies, regardless of their size, to significantly increase their investment in this diverse collective of TV ventures. This investment is crucial for cultivating a dedicated and enduring customer base. "We need to escalate our efforts and intensify our commitment," insisted Carlos Santiago, AIMM co-founder and president of Santiago Solutions Group, highlighting the imperative for action. Santiago announced that AIMM and its parent the Association of National Advertisers will monitor activity in ad revenues among multicultural/LGBTQ community-owned media ventures and release regular updates.

ANA/AIMM and its co-founders Carlos Santiago, Lisette Arsuaga, and Gilbert Davila are being inducted into the Advancing Diversity Hall of Honors at the marketing community's largest annual gathering of DEIB professionals, the leaders who support them, and our community's diverse emerging talent. To join AIMM and learn about the event and this year's 16 inductees, visit

Distinguished Hosts and Innovative Format:

The event boasted an impressive lineup of hosts, including MSNBC anchor Richard Lui on the opening day, followed by Estrella Media's Nour Milla and Advertising Age's Parker Herren, who alternated roles on the second day. This year's revamped format, which allocated mornings for panels and afternoons for exclusive meetings, proved highly effective. The streamlined schedule facilitated a significant leap in interactions, from 500 meetings in 2023 to an astounding 1,200-1,500 this year, ensuring all participants had ample opportunity for meaningful engagement.

Spotlight on Success and Opportunities for Improvement:

While the format received praise for maximizing meeting time, a missed opportunity was noted in panel discussions. Moderators did not fully utilize the platform to delve into the content trajectories of the featured TV ventures, a move that could have ignited further interest and investment in these innovative enterprises.

Impressive Growth and the Path Forward:

The event also served as a platform to showcase the tangible impact of increased ad spending on diverse-owned media ventures, with a notable 34 percent rise reported. However, the overall allocation of ad dollars to these ventures remains modest, marking an area ripe for growth. AIMM announced plans to keep the momentum by monitoring and reporting on ad sales activity among multicultural and LGBTQ community-owned media ventures on a quarterly basis.

A Gathering of Visionaries:

The GrowthFronts featured inspiring conversations with luminaries such as Rosie Perez, who passionately advocated for robust partnerships with diverse content creators. Other speakers, including Procter & Gamble's Eric Austin and The Nielsen Company's David Kenny, echoed the sentiment, emphasizing the critical need for a vibrant, diverse media ecosystem. Austin, the Global Media Vice President for P&G, disclosed that 50 percent of his company's revenue growth last year came from multicultural consumers. "We've got some brand success stories, and we've got a lot of opportunity in front of us," he added.

Concluding Thoughts:

As AIMM's GrowthFronts concluded, the message was clear: the time for action is now. With the collective strength of advertisers, agencies, and content creators, there's a vast landscape of opportunity to better connect with diverse audiences, drive growth, and forge a more inclusive media landscape. The event not only highlighted the successes and challenges but also charted a course towards a future where diversity in media is not just visible but invaluable.

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