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CEO DATELINE – Group launches Fair Play Charter for ad agencies

Feb. 12, 2018
By Lori Sharn

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The American Association of Advertising Agencies, known as the 4A’s, is calling on its members to “recommit” to fairness in making media-buying decisions.

The new “Fair Play Charter” addresses a perceived bias—a “no Hispanic/no urban” dictum—exhibited by some media agencies and the brands they represent. This results in media-buying decisions that exclude media owned by or targeted to African Americans or Latinos.

The 4A’s is asking agencies to commit to the charter, or incorporate the charter into agency policies and procedures.

“It’s important that we match the conversations and policies around fairness and equality in the work space with equal attention, energy and action around being fair in how we choose our media partners,” said Louis Jones, the 4A’s executive vice president of Media and Data, in a Feb. 6 news statement. “This diversity and equality issue surfaces from time to time, and it is important that we remain cognizant of unfair treatment and not let it let affect industry practices or societal perception. This is a great step toward raising the bar in the media community.”

The association’s 740 member agencies control more than 85 percent of U.S. advertising spending, according to the 4A’s. 

A trade group representing African American-owned media companies applauded the announcement.

“We believe that this can be a game changer for increasing awareness about the importance of fairness and equity in how advertising agencies conduct business,” said Benjamin Chavis, CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, in an NNPA Newswire article.

“The NNPA is looking forward to the engagement that will be a fulfillment of the commitment announced by the 4A’s in the Fair Play Charter,’’ Chavis said.

 

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