Target to award $25M in paid media to diverse brands

    Dive Brief:

    • Target has introduced the Roundel Media Fund, which will award more than $25 million in paid media to diverse-owned and -founded brands by 2025, per a company blog post.
    • Run through Target’s in-house media network, Roundel, the program is designed to offset the cost of marketing programs run through the retailer by allowing Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) brands to buy paid media at a fraction of the cost.
    • The effort is part of the company’s larger commitment to invest more than $2 billion with Black-owned businesses by the end of 2025. Target has invested four times more with Black-owned media partners and doubled the amount of partners it is working with since 2020. 

    Dive Insight:

    With the Roundel Media Fund, Target is drilling down and adding more specific investments to its commitments around increasing racial equity in the retail space by supporting marketing programs through its owned media. Target first established its Racial Equity Action and Change (REACH) initiative in the summer of 2020 as protests against racist violence erupted all over the globe, and has since worked to boost Black-owned businesses in a variety of ways.

    The newly announced fund will award more than $25 million in paid media to diverse brands through Roundel, the company’s in-house media network that it rebranded in 2019. While a typical paid media program through Target costs more than $50,000, Roundel Media Fund participants would receive the same benefits and reach for only $5,000, per the brand. The more than 20 diverse-owned brands that participated in a test of the fund during Black History Month saw a 40% average sales lift, per the blog post. The investment could help BIPOC brands pay for marketing programs at Target, addressing one of the ways that systemic racism affects such brands.

    “Ultimately, we strive to be a true partner to BIPOC businesses, and this involves a continued investment to help widen and deepen their capabilities so they can grow and prosper while continuing to connect with the audiences they serve,” said Sarah Travis, president of Roundel, in a statement.

    In June 2021, Target committed to spending 5% of its budget each year with Black-owned media companies, while also increasing engagement with Black content creators. Target’s 5% goal exceeded the 2% level set by GroupM as part of the WPP group’s Media Inclusion Initiative, of which Target is a part.

    Since then, Target has invested four times more with Black-owned media partners and doubled the amount of partners they are working with since 2020. The retailer has also signed multiyear deals with publishers including Revolt, Essence and Black Love.


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