Media community's decade-long funding of MediaVillage and AdvancingDiversity.org is paying dividends as industry responds to COVID-19 and Black Leaders Matter. After more than a decade of research to identify key drivers of sustained growth of advertising-supported media, and presentations to more than 1,000 industry leaders, MediaVillage and AdvancingDiversity.org are announcing today a $100 million 10-year investment goal to expand the industry's activation of diversity and educational programs. The $100 million goal represents a commitment to generate, by 2030, 50% growth in advertising revenues and to achieve 50% industry-wide diversity representation.
Based on data from its research on the impact of cultural shifts on business growth, MediaVillage developed and launched diversity and equality initiatives in 2011 as Women in Media Mentoring Initiative and, with industry funding, has since implemented diversity programs focused on gender equality (WomenAdvancing.org) in 2013, diverse employee retention (1stFive.org) in 2014, masculinity management (The Future of Men) in 2016, ageism (The Age of Aging) in 2018, and the Advancing Diversity Council Hall of Honors in 2017.
Last January, based on MediaVillage research, the Advancing Diversity Council was formed to Advance Diversity from Advocacy to Activism through funding of several proven industry initiatives and programs. These programs were recently announced in conjunction with the creation of theMedia and Advertising Industry Advancing Diversity Fund.
MediaVillage research has identified educational programs as a key contributor to diversity advancements. MediaVillage founder Jack Myers reports: "Business growth today requires a strong foundation of new majority talent; integration of diverse talent across capabilities and responsibilities; and dedicated commitment to easily accessible and user-friendly learning tools." Myers adds, "The advertising and media industry underperforms in each of these essential resources vs. most major industry categories, and it has failed to effectively and collectively activate, expand and communicate the successes."
Myers, the nation's leading practicing Media Ecologist, has been on a mission for more than a decade to advance the media and advertising community's investments in diversity and education. "Our funding commitment reflects the community's decade-long recognition that there are institutional and systemic failures in advancing diversity to which the industry has clearly not sufficiently responded. But the corporate community has not stood still. Thanks to a decade of industry investment and development, MediaVillage has in place the strategies, market intelligence, relationships, resources, communications tools, capabilities, team and credibility to profoundly move the needle measurably and quickly forward," Myers noted. "With billions invested in technology advances, it's finally hitting home that media and advertising growth will lag without meaningful investments in diversity and education."
What's Nextfor Advancing Diversity and Education Initiatives at MediaVillage
Over the past two years, Myers has been pounding on the message of diversity and education, generating funding support, and ramping up capabilities at his MediaVillage home base. More than 150 media industry companies, agencies, organizations, educational leaders, journalists, and subject matter experts currently contribute to MediaVillage educational content and Advancing Diversity initiatives. Myers often uses the MediaVillage subscriber base of 20,000 influencers to advance activist positions on diversity issues. MediaVillage hosts several well-known columnists who write on a spectrum of issues impacting the industry and an educational archive of more than 14,000 original, exclusive, and continually updated articles, podcasts, videos, and reports. MediaVillage is underwritten by membership fees.
U.S. advertising investments by marketers, excluding investments with Google, Facebook and Amazon, have declined steadily for two-decades and are forecast to decline an average 1.5% annually to 2025 (impacted by COVID-19). An AdvancingDiversity.org industry diversity census published earlier this year established media industry ethnic diversity at 14% among senior-level professionals and 24% among junior-level team members. Black professionals represent 6.5% of industry employees, with Black males representing only 1.6%
MediaVillage was founded in 2009 by Myers, a long-time industry consultant and executive at Metromedia Outdoor, ABC Radio and CBS-TV, with original funding from 12 media companies and agencies. Notes Myers: "MediaVillage is the only organization that represents all industry constituencies and is dedicated solely to industry growth in a rising tide model."
Among MediaVillage's newest initiatives:
Currently, MediaVillage is home to more than 100 independent educational and diversity focused websites, many underwritten by leading companies and organizations, including the Ad Council, Association of National Advertisers, A+E Television Networks, a4/Altice, Active International, Ampersand, AT&T Media, Cadent, Comcast, Crown Media, Discovery Communications, DISH Media, Female Quotient, IPG, NBCU, National Public Media/NPR, Nielsen, NY Interconnect, Outfront, Pandora, Publicis Media, She Runs It, Spectrum Reach, Standard Media Index, UPtv/Aspire, Verizon, Vevo, ViacomCBS, Walt Disney Company, and The Weather Channel.