It's a unique business challenge to qualify as a Benefits (B) Corporation, which requires that the organization demonstrate high social and environmental performance and be accountable to all stakeholders. It's a high bar to gain and maintain certification and one that makes The Guardian U.S. unique among media publishers. Founded in the U.K. in 1870, The Guardian launched its U.S. brand in 2011 and recently named Luis Romero to head North American advertising sales. Luis joined me for a Legends & Leadership conversation on World Press Freedom Day, providing an appropriate opportunity to highlight The Guardian's "independent quality, robust journalism that is free for everyone." In its tribute to press freedom, The Guardian U.S. points out that it "stands in solidarity against propaganda, censorship and misinformation."
Throughout our conversation, Luis shared examples of the journalistic commitment that differentiates The Guardian U.S. from its competition. "We want to make journalism free for everyone, so we don't have a paywall," he said. In addition to advertising revenues, The Guardian accepts donations and philanthropic contributions, "so we're beholden to no one and can go places where others won't." One of those places is the recent hiring of a Deputy Editor of Race and Equity and another, Luis believes, is his own hiring.
"Our employee population at The Guardian U.S. is more than 40% diverse. It's what The Guardian is. It's part of our DNA. As a B Corp. we really need to walk the talk, and that includes hiring. I'm a really good example of that, having spent most of my career in the multicultural space. Who would have taken a chance on a person who has only ever done Hispanic media sales? The Guardian did and I think it's been successful for both of us. I was passionate about the Spanish-language networks I worked at and in the same way I'm passionate about The Guardian."
Luis is a visionary executive who is playing a pivotal role in shaping the advertising landscape at one of the world's most influential news organizations. With an impressive track record of driving revenue growth and forging strategic partnerships, Luis has garnered widespread acclaim for his innovative thinking and unwavering dedication to the craft. View our conversation above and at Legends & Leadership to learn about the strategies and tactics that have enabled The Guardian U.S. to thrive in an era of digital disruption. From native advertising and programmatic solutions to the evolving relationship between brands and publishers, our conversation is a captivating exploration of the current and future trends that are shaping digital journalism.