The 4A's issued a Fair Play Charter to its members, asking media agencies, and media departments within agencies, to recommit to fair and equitable treatment of minority media owners.
The charter, written by the 4A's Media Leadership Council (MLC), was inspired by discussions with Kizart Media Partners and the multicultural media owner community to address questions around perceived "no Hispanic"/"no urban" dictates in the media-buying process. It asks agencies to commit to the charter or to incorporate the charter into agency policies and procedures.
"No Hispanic"/"no urban" dictates describe a practice in which agencies and the brands they represent make media-buying decisions that are noninclusive of media owned by or targeted to African Americans or Latinos. The Fair Play Charter also extends to include targeted media of other special-interest communities.
Louis Jones, EVP of Media & Data at the 4A's, said of the charter: "It's important that we match the conversations and policies around fairness and equality in the work space with equal attention, energy and action around being fair in how we choose our media partners. This diversity and equality issue surfaces from time to time, and it is important that we remain cognizant of unfair treatment and not let it let affect industry practices or societal perception. This is a great step toward raising the bar in the media community."
Sherman Kizart, managing director at Kizart Media Partners, commented: "It has been a privilege to work with the 4A's executive leadership team and their Media Leadership Council to develop Fair Play and work toward creating equal-opportunity access and equal consideration for all media. It's an important step toward helping to create a level playing field in the trillion-dollar media landscape."
Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, added, "I support and commend the efforts of the 4As, Kizart Media Partners, and minority media advocates to address discrimination in the media industry head-on. Everyone deserves a level playing field, and Fair Play is a crucial step towards achieving equal access and treatment for all, including eliminating discrimination."
In 2008, the FCC released a Report and Order on diversity requiring that all broadcasters' advertising contracts contain clauses ensuring that there is no discrimination based on race or gender in the sale of advertising time.