The Latest From ANA Newsstand

September 17, 2020

By Andrew Eitelbach

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It starts with you.

Systemic racism and deliberate marginalization will not go away if ignored. They must be addressed head-on and dealt with in honest terms. But a number of brands who have stepped up to show support for the Black Lives Matter protests in recent months are finding that slogans and media buys are not enough. Change — real change — requires a cold look inward. In order for marketers to help change society, our story argues, they will need to effect changes within their own organizations first.

"[Companies] will say the right things because they fundamentally believe those are the right things to say," Gerald E. Johnson II, EVP of the Office of Health Equity and chief diversity and inclusion officer at the American Heart Association, tells ANA magazine in what’s likely our most important story of the year. "But then they don't agree and align on what they're going to do in support of that statement and put sufficient resources to invest or drive the outcomes. Or they don't assign the proper accountability at the most visible level … and then they don't talk about it."

And man does it need to be discussed.

As our story reports, when professionals in a 2019 Center for Talent study were asked whether Black employees have to work harder than their colleagues to advance in their careers, 65 percent of Black respondents said yes; only 16 percent of white respondents agreed. What’s more, 58 percent of Black professionals say they feel racism on their jobs and are four times as likely as white colleagues to experience prejudice at work.

"Black employees often feel like they are alone, and no one is there to understand the issues they face," Dr. Jamillah Bowman Williams, an associate professor of law at Georgetown University, tells ANA magazine. "Now, they're seeing all of these commitments of solidarity with the Black community and all of these donations, and they're saying, 'Enough is enough. While you're saying Black lives matter, our experience here is something different.'"

Marketers, who interface with so many different aspects of their organizations, are in a unique position to drive the conversations that need to be had. In this story, Mastercard and the American Heart Association share what their organizations are doing to confront issues of discrimination and industry experts provide advice on how you can drive change from within.

Read “Taking a Stand on Systemic Change” in ANA magazine.

More August highlights from ANA Newsstand:

  • Media Spending in an Uncertain Environment. By now it’s nothing you don’t know: the pandemic is throwing media buying models into disarray. Truncated sports seasons; delayed movie and TV productions; non-existent commutes; they are wreaking havoc with how people consume media, and marketers are struggling with reduced budgets and greater pressure to prove ROI. “Our big recommendation is for clients to remind people that ‘panic’ is not one of the four Ps of marketing,” John Kenny, chief strategy officer at FCB Chicago, tells ANA magazine. Read what advice experts have for stressed out marketers and what the long-term implications might be for the industry.
  • Social Media Channels Dial Up Brand Safety. “In a time where face-to-face contact with customers is risky and, at best, strictly codified and fleeting, brands can definitely leverage social media to connect with their audience and stay top of mind,” says Stephanie Cartin, co-founder and co-CEO of Socialfly, in this interview with ANA magazine. As brands struggle to find the right media channel (see previous bullet), social platforms are going to great lengths to help improve the experience for marketers and highlight brand safety in a number of ways (see next bullet).
  • A New Concern Among Consumers: Brand Safety. "Brand safety" is taking on new meanings in the pandemic. Where the term used to refer to marketers’ concerns over their brands appearing alongside hate-filled or questionable content, it now extends to business practices. Should a brand that’s keeping its employees home for their safety sponsor an event that requires travel or in-person attendance? Probably not. But there’s also concern among consumers about the safety of goods and services. "As we see demand for transparency grow in certain CPG categories in the face of the pandemic, providing it is likely to become table stakes rather than a differentiating feature,” Amy Rogoff Dunn of strategy firm Kelton tells ANA magazine.
  • UPS Bakes Digital Transformation Into the Brand. Marketing veteran Kevin Warren became the CMO at UPS two years ago and immediately began to transform the organization’s marketing group. The timing could not have been more critical. The new structure, which launched in June, connects marketing with the rest of the company. "Marketing is no longer a functional silo at UPS," Warren tells B2B Marketer. "It's really a connector across the enterprise, not only with sales but also with operations, strategy, and IT.” The change centers on what Warren sees as a new digital imperative. "We need a model that allows us to respond to the reality of today's business and how our customers and markets are shifting," Warren says. In light of the long-lasting changes brought about by the pandemic, delivering on that is more important than ever.

Also, be sure to catch up on the latest industry trends contributed by ANA partners in Forward magazine. August’s contributions include:

See highlights from July or find the very latest on ANA Newsstand.

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