Trade Groups Offer New Guidelines To Help Marketers Start Investing in Diverse Media Suppliers | About the ANA | ANA

Trade Groups Offer New Guidelines To Help Marketers Start Investing in Diverse Media Suppliers

Eleven Recommendations from the ANA and the 4A’s Seek to Help Marketers Initiate Investment

NEW YORK (September 6, 2023) — The ANA and the 4A’s today released a new set of guidelines designed to help companies increase their advertising and marketing investments in diverse media suppliers.

The guidelines followed an April report by the ANA that revealed a gap existed between intent and action when it came to marketers investing in diverse suppliers.

“The gap exists as there are some companies (particularly large ones) which have started to support diverse suppliers but are not investing with them in any meaningful way,” the guidelines stated.  “There are also some marketers still sitting on the sidelines who are not sure where to begin. These guidelines are specifically intended to help the latter group.”

ANA CEO Bob Liodice said: “Our earlier study clearly demonstrated that there are a significant number of marketers who want to invest in diverse media suppliers but need help getting started. These guidelines will help them develop a strong and substantive investment strategy that includes increases in diversity spending that reflect each company’s customer base.”

4A’s President-CEO Marla Kaplowitz added: “If you don't have a plan to reach diverse audiences, long-term growth is difficult, if not impossible. Similar to DEIB efforts internally, using diverse media suppliers to reach a diverse audience is not a ‘nice to have,’ it is a critical business imperative. If you are not growing your relationships with diverse media suppliers, you are failing to reach a brand's full potential with a growing audience.”

Guidelines for Getting Started When Investing with Diverse Media Companies was created by a task force consisting of key members of each trade organization.  It includes a total of 11 recommendations.  Among them are the following:

  • Find out if your company is already investing advertising and marketing dollars with diverse suppliers. If your company has a supplier diversity team (often part of the procurement function), that would be a great place to start to obtain that information regarding diverse suppliers.
  • Get started with investing in diverse media suppliers that meet your company’s strategic communications goals. Don’t be overly concerned with the “appropriate” spending benchmark and look to increase investment over time. Think about allocating a percentage of your budget for diverse suppliers; otherwise, it’s easy to cut such spending first.
  • Measure your market share, not just overall, but for each ethnic segment if possible.  Understanding present business performance among these audiences will help identify growth opportunities. Then, gauge the size of that opportunity to understand the revenue potential of increasing that share.
  • Look for opportunities beyond traditional media such as event sponsorships, experiential marketing, and product placement/integration, among others.
  • To be authentic, invest throughout the year and not just during tentpole events like Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, Asian New Year, and Pride Month. Investment in diverse media should be a core element of a company’s communications strategy to meet its diverse customer base.
  • Some diverse media suppliers have expressed a strong interest in having direct dialogue with marketers. While agencies absolutely have key roles to play, marketers should be open to relationship building with diverse suppliers.
  • Know the diversity make-up of your teams both internally and externally with your agencies. When marketing to an increasingly diverse America, those teams should ideally reflect the diversity of the consumers they are serving.

The complete Guidelines for Getting Started When Investing with Diverse Media Companies can be accessed on the ANA website here and on the 4A’s website here.


The ANA’s (Association of National Advertisers) mission is to drive growth for marketing professionals, brands and businesses, the industry, and humanity. The ANA serves the marketing needs of 20,000 brands by leveraging the 12-point ANA Growth Agenda, which has been endorsed by the Global CMO Growth Council. The ANA’s membership consists of U.S. and international companies, including client-side marketers, nonprofits, fundraisers, and marketing solutions providers (data science and technology companies, ad agencies, publishers, media companies, suppliers, and vendors). The ANA creates Marketing Growth Champions by serving, educating, and advocating for more than 50,000 industry members that collectively invest more than $400 billion in marketing and advertising annually.

The 4A’s was established in 1917 to promote, advance, and defend the interests of our member agencies, employees and the advertising and marketing industries overall. We empower our members to drive commerce, spark connections, and shape culture through infinite creativity. With a focus on advocacy, talent and the value of creativity and technology to drive business growth and cultural change, the organization serves 600+ member agencies across 1,200 offices, which help direct more than 85% of total U.S. advertising spend. The 4A’s includes the 4A’s Benefits division, which insures more than 160,000 employees; the government relations team, who advocate for policies to support the industry; and the 4A’s Foundation, which advocates for and connects multicultural talent to the marketing industry by fostering a culture of curiosity, creativity and craft to fuel a more equitable future for the industry.

John Wolfe
Director of Communications
Office: 212.455.8011
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