GM commits to doubling ad spending with Black-owned media

·1 min read
FILE PHOTO: Logo of General Motors atop the company headquarters

DETROIT (Reuters) -General Motors Co will double its commitment to spending with Black-owned media to 4% of its ad budget next year with a target of reaching 8% by 2025, the U.S. automaker said on Friday.

GM has come under criticism, including in full-page ads in several national newspapers, from some Black media leaders for not advertising enough in Black-owned media. GM said it will spend 2% of this year's budget in that sector.

"This action plan will transform our engagement model with diverse media in a sustainable way," GM Chief Marketing Officer Deborah Wahl said in a statement.

"Over the course of several weeks, we met with many diverse-owned media organizations. We are grateful for the transparency and spirit of collaboration, which helped us frame this inclusive approach."

GM cut its advertising and promotional spending last year by about $1 billion to $2.7 billion, according to the Detroit company's annual report.

Wahl told Reuters earlier in April its spending would return to normal levels following cuts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

GM also said on Friday it was allocating $50 million over 10 years to support diverse marketing companies.

The company will hold a dedicated ad spending meeting on May 14 with diverse-owned media leaders ahead of its general media spending event later this month.

"I applaud GM for taking the results of their thoughtful and robust discussions with a significant number of diverse media entities," said Alfred Liggins, chief executive of Urban One, which operates media properties targeting African Americans, in the same statement.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman in DetroitEditing by Chizu Nomiyama and Richard Chang)