Musician and entrepreneur Sean “Diddy” Combs criticized General Motors Co. and other companies for failing to support Black-owned media, saying that Corporate America can no longer “manipulate our community so that it believes gradual progress is acceptable.”
The rapper, who founded the Revolt cable network in 2013, published an open letter the company’s website on Thursday called on companies to spend less than 1% of their advertising on Black-owned media.
He singled out General Motors because he recently quoted Revolt as a company he supports. “Although Revolt receives advertising revenue from GM, our relationship is not an example of success. Instead, Revolt, just like other black-owned media companies, fights for crumbs, while GM earns billions of dollars every year from the black community, ”he said.
“Corporations like General Motors have exploited our culture, undermined our power and excluded black entrepreneurs from participating in the value created by black consumers,” said Combs, who rose to fame in the 1990s as a hip-hop artist and record producer.
In response, GM said the company is currently meeting with media companies owned by Black because the carmaker plans to spend more on those properties. Executive Director Mary Barra will also be present at these meetings. Company spokesman Pat Morrissey said GM had doubled spending with Black-owned media groups to 2% this year.
“We will increase spending with this important segment to 4% in 2022, and we will continue to grow beyond that with a target of 8% by 2025,” Morrissey said in an email. “We already have the most media diversity in our industry and we believe it enhances that leadership and commitment.”
Pressure has increased on companies to diversify their ranks and reform policies since the assassination of George Floyd last year sparked protests across the country. GM and Barra found themselves under special scrutiny, and black media entrepreneurs like Weather Channel owner Byron Allen said the company refused to meet with them. They dropped a full-page ad in the Detroit Free Press saying Barra ignores them and spends less than 0.5% of the company’s advertising dollars on Black-owned media.
Morrissey said GM executives met with Allen, that black-owned media is “a vital component of our marketing mix, and we estimate our spending on media partners through several basic metrics, including transparency, innovation, ad quality, audience delivery. and brand security. “
In his letter, Combs also attacked distributors for failing to wear black-owned media stamps “in an era where our influence and influence is undeniable”.
Corporate America should invest the same percentage it receives from the black community back into black-owned media, he said.
“If you love us, pay us!” he said. “It’s time now! Radical change is the only option. You are either with us or you are on the other side. “