Consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble has made a nine-figure investment in Group Black Inc., a collective and accelerator for Black-owned media.
Although both parties declined to provide financial specifics, the investment is reportedly in the nine-figure range, Ad Week reported.
Group Black was launched in June 2021, with an initial spend of $75 million from media investment company GroupM. The pledge from P&G marks the most significant single investment that the company has received, according to co-founder and CEO Travis Montaque. The collective said it would deploy $500 million in Black-owned media via ad buys by the end of the year.
Group Black’s leadership team includes Black advocates, media experts and organizations. Founding member companies include Essence, Holler media company, amateur esports platform PlayVS, Afropunk, trending news platform The Shade Room and urban news source Baller Alert, according to Group Black’s website.
Essence owner and Shea Moisture founder Richelieu Dennis is the collective’s co-founder and chairman.
Group Black will use the P&G investment to invest 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.”
“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 November, Group Black has already secured various collaborations, including a multi-year joint venture with the PMC brand She Media. Its partnership with P&G officially debuted in early March with a South by Southwest activation featuring Charmin and Bounty’s brands. The product activation meant generating awareness about the two P&G brands.
The deal will expand into linear, OTT, digital audio and print channels as well, La Niear said. OTT ads (or streaming TV ads) are delivered to viewers within this video content.