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Group Black, a collective and accelerator for Black-owned media, announced Thursday morning that it has secured a significant media investment from the consumer goods corporation Procter & Gamble. The total commitment is reportedly a nine-figure sum, though both parties declined to provide financial specifics.
Group Black debuted last June with an initial spend of $75 million from GroupM, but the pledge from P&G is the largest single investment that the company has received, co-founder and CEO Travis Montaque confirmed. By the end of the year, the collective aims to deploy $500 million in Black-owned media.
The 30-person team will use the investment to advance its mission of strengthening the Black media landscape, a goal it has pursued using a two-pronged approach: building out Group Black Media, its ecosystem of members, brands and creators, and growing Group Black Ventures, its accelerator for investing capital and infrastructure into Black-owned media brands.
“The Black-owned media industry is still in its most nascent stages––it’s small,” Montaque said. “And the reason it’s small is an issue of access: access to investment and access to opportunities. That’s what Group Black was created to solve.”
With Group Black Media, the company collates independent Black publishers into a collective in order to meet marketers’ preference to transact at scale. By operating as a unified bloc, the collective enables both parties to achieve their goal: Brands support Black-owned media and reach a sizable readership, while publishers increase their advertising revenue.
“Our goal at P&G is to have the number one brand in every category among Black consumers, so we intend to be the number one spender in Black media,” said senior director for multicultural media at P&G Charlotte La Niear. “Group Black helps us overcome our biggest challenge in that effort, which is a lack of available inventory.”
In its effort to grow rapidly and secure substantial media investment, Group Black has struck a number of collaborations in its first year of operation, including a joint venture with the PMC brand She Media in November. Its partnership with P&G officially debuted this month with a South by Southwest activation that featured the brands Charmin and Bounty, but the multi-year deal will extend into linear, OTT, digital audio and print channels as well, La Niear said.