After actively working to find an appropriate response to the Black Lives Matter movement, the WARC and sister company Cannes Lions—along with the 4A’s Foundation, the Association of National Advertisers Educational Foundation (AEF) and the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF)—have partnered with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Business Deans Roundtable to provide industry knowledge to future black marketers.
As part of the initiative, students from over 100 HBCUs across the nation will have free access to content on marketing creativity and effectiveness via the WARC and Cannes Lions’ The Work platforms, a commitment valued at $1 million per year.
The partnership follows the WARC’s launch of an ongoing content series and Black Lives Matter hub that aims to educate marketers on diversity and activism through WARC research, brand activism content, case studies and opinion pieces written by experts. One of these includes a poll by Kantar that found 40 percent of US consumers are more likely to consider buying from a company that takes a stand against racial injustice.
WARC has created five commitments to racial equality around its organization, team, content, product and marketing influence. Among them are a commitment to being an anti-racist and inclusive organization, recruiting and developing talent from black and diverse backgrounds, building a network of contributors and reviewing the structure, language and tagging of its product to accurately represent black communities.
This month, WARC will release its “Guide to Brand Activism in the BLM Era,” part of its long-term commitment to feature new voices on all topics, including the impact BLM has on marketing, in its content and future reports.
Timed to the UK’s Black History Month this October, WARC has also partnered with Black Cultural Archives to produce a series of filmed interviews on the history of black marketers, to be released soon.
Research has shown that the most ethnically and culturally diverse companies outperform less diverse peers on profitability. McKinsey & Company’s 2019 analysis found that the top-quartile diverse companies outperformed those in the bottom quartile by 36 percent in profitability.