AgenciesBrandsCarlos Watson’s OZY partners with GroupM to increase representation in media buys

The two-year partnership focuses on DE&I, responsible journalism and sustainability.
Marcom Weekly StaffApril 12, 2021

GroupM, WPP’s media investment group taps international media and entertainment company OZY to be its investment partner to implement its recently announced “Responsible Investment” buying framework. The framework is a five-part scheme that focuses on brand safety, data ethics, DE&I, responsible journalism and sustainability. The framework is part of GroupM’s investment initiatives in increasing representation of more diverse perspectives and bringing those perspectives to a more diverse audience.

“The next era of media must work harder to create a healthier advertising ecosystem for everyone, especially the people consuming it,” says Kirk McDonald, GroupM North America CEO. “As the largest global media network, it is our responsibility to help clients assign media dollars as a force for good and we are using our scale to bring about positive and meaningful change. OZY is a compelling example of the type of partner we’ll continue to align with, given the work they’ve done in finding, supporting, curating and exposing the world to fresh perspectives and audiences,” McDonald added.

GroupM’s Jared Baiman who serves as global corporate communications manager tells Marcom Weekly, “The framework is an added lens to how we look to elevate investment to a new socially mindful scale.” The partnership will see OZY create original video, audio and written series for GroupM clients, while GroupM clients will be exposed to OZY’s growing premium audience of 75M+ forward-thinking millennials, GenX and GenZ’ers.

“This moment is demanding more from media and GroupM’s commitment to advancing fresh voices and engaging new audiences in more substantive and impactful ways has made them a critical partner for OZY,” says former CNN and MSNBC anchor Carlos Watson, who is co-founder and CEO of OZY. “Today’s exciting news deepens our partnership and gives us an opportunity to envision a new future and create bigger, more ambitious content and experiences for some of GroupM’s most forward-thinking clients.”

The “Responsible Investment” framework expands GroupM’s approach by presenting a number of strategic planning options to clients for how and where to venture their media dollars. It supports clients by making use of their media dollars into buys that advocate for change and provide long-term impact ranging from diversity of audience makeup to reducing as a media placement’s carbon emissions.

Participating clients of GroupM have been supportive of the framework’s design and implementation. Baiman says, “Socially conscious media buying is really the only way to support so many of the initiatives our clients are talking about. We want to make sure the dollars they are using aren’t just driving businesses, but also doing good.”

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