In an effort to support and diversify the creators its clients work with, Omnicom Media Group is looking to help creators get certified.
The agency is working with the National Minority Suppliers Development Council (NMSDC), an organization that certifies and supports minority-owned businesses, to certify OMG’s creators as Minority Business Enterprises (MBE).
“Our goal in partnering with the NMSDC – the gold standard for minority-owned certification – is to build the industry’s only database of certified creators, enabling a new media channel for diverse investment,” OMG North America CEO Scott Hagedorn said in a statement announcing the partnership. OMG is encouraging creators to apply to the program, but isn’t making application or certification mandatory.
OMG’s Diverse Content Creators Network, announced in June of this year, helps to connect brands with thousands of diverse content creators across platforms, many with millions of followers. Creators include Tiara Willis, who was featured in a Burt’s Bees Twitter campaign; Chef Aaron Sanchez; Latinx beauty expert Desi Perkins; and YouTuber Marques Brownlee.
To become a certified MBE, creators will have to follow the same criteria as large companies. They need to be a U.S. citizen, a for-profit enterprise and physically located in the U.S., and must be at least 51% minority-owned and operated. Once approved, creators can display a badge on their social media or website saying they are MBE certified.
“We usually certify complex corporate structures, but creators should have simpler structures,” said Ying McGuire, CEO of NMSDC. She adds that NMSDC will aim to simplify and automate this process to cater to technology-savvy creators. “We know they don’t like paperwork,” she said.
OMG has set a goal of sponsoring NMSDC certification for 500 diverse creators by the end of 2022.
The partnership is aimed at building up diverse investment channels and supporting creators of color. After the May 2020 killing of George Floyd, consumers pushed for brands to be held accountable for their ad spending, causing brands and agencies to increase commitments to diverse creators and media channels. This summer, brands like McDonald’s and General Motors pledged to invest in diverse-owned media, as have agencies like GroupM and Publicis. OMG partnered with Colossus SSP, a supply side platform that delivers a diverse marketplace.