Ad tech company TripleLift and the world’s largest buyer of media have partnered on TripleLift’s “Underrepresented Voices” Exchange Traded Deal to help buyers direct more spend to minority-owned publishers.

The initiative is a curated deal of ad impressions that run solely on websites owned by Black, Latinx, AAPI, and LGBTQ+ media company operators — and GroupM is the first holding company to formally support the effort.

TripleLift will waive its fees so that more dollars go directly to the publishers, it says.

Support for minority-owned publishers has increased over the last year as social equality issues have become more important to media buyers. In recent months, multiple brands and holding companies have made commitments to spend more of their media budgets with these publishers. GroupM recently announced their Responsible Investment Framework, which includes an invitation to clients, to invest 2+% or more of their total media spend in Black-owned media companies.

This is the first ad tech partnership GroupM has entered into to further that pledge.

TripleLift launched their Exchange Traded Deals (ETDs) – curated packages of programmatic ad impressions – in late 2020. Among the first ETDs to be released was Underrepresented Voices, made up of impressions running across 6,100 minority websites. The company prioritized its rollout largely due to the demand raised by buyers towards the end of a tumultuous year that witnessed increased awareness of social injustice.

TripleLift noted that 20% of all sites on their platform are minority and/or women-owned.

“The goal of our Media Inclusion Initiative and by extension, the  Responsible Investment Framework is to direct media spend more equitably and deepen our DE&I commitments,” said Susan Schiekofer, GroupM’s U.S. Chief Digital Investment Officer . “For advertising to work better for people, we have to give our clients supplier diversity options to invest media dollars that in turn improve the ecosystem and drive positive cultural influence. The TripleLift initiative helps us reach this goal.”

GroupM will make Underrepresented Voices available to all of its brands.

“As a black woman business owner, I have first-hand experience as to why initiatives such as this one are so important,” said Mediavine publisher Tanya Harris, owner of My Forking Life, a food blog with quick recipes for busy people. “I started my blog five years ago and I noticed a lack of diversity in the blogging industry. That’s starting to change, but much more could be done to level the playing field. Underrepresented Voices is a huge step in the right direction and I’m thankful that TripleLift and GroupM started this initiative.”

Underrepresented Voices will continue to be available to all ad buyers in perpetuity.

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