Global omnichannel media agency Assembly today announced Partners for Progress, an inclusive investment program designed to directly support minority-owned and operated businesses by collaborating with clients to infuse accountability and sustained investment across all aspects of the creative and media supply chain. Through Partners for Progress, Assembly – Ad Age's inaugural Purpose-Led Agency of the Year– will serve as a partner for clients seeking innovative ways to scale and deliver on commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion goals while working across Assembly's supplier chain to ensure media spend is allocated to systemically underserved communities. Dedicated to delivering tangible outcomes, Assembly is committed to investing 25% of primary research through diverse-owned and operated suppliers and increasing overall media spend to 10% over a three-year period.
"We need to move beyond intention and design standards and principles that truly support underrepresented and under-recognized communities," said Shannon Pruitt, Chief Content and Partnerships Officer for Stagwell Brand Performance Network. "Partners for Progress allows Assembly to leverage our sustained relationships with global brands to ask different questions, have different conversations, and find new ways to enable impact, investment, and opportunities for diverse companies and communities."
Through participation in Partners for Progress, brands and industry associations will collaborate with Assembly to transform their media and marketing operations in service of enhancing investment in minority-owned media, principally across three categories:
- Brand Strategy and Operations – Assembly will work with partners to update strategic briefs to ensure diversity is central to client campaigns and usher in diverse suppliers through memberships with organizations like the National Minority Supplier Diversity Council (NMSDC).
- Media and Marketing Investment – Assembly will partner with companies to drive internal commitments about dedicating media spend to minority-owned and operated companies and public declarations that ensure external accountability. Assembly will also partner on solutions to payment terms that minimize the burden on small businesses and alleviate the obstacles minority-owned media faces in reaching scale. And the agency is working on a solution aimed at reducing the pay equity gap within the creator community through partnerships with companies like Spotter, the top provider of creator-friendly growth capital.
- Research and Audience Insights – Powered by the agency's proprietary martech platform STAGE, Assembly will develop tools to access diversity and nuanced audience resonance across clients' advertising in-market and help brands fine-tune audience development with dedicated research and deep insights into diverse groups and the intersectionality wherein.
Through Partners for Progress, Assembly aims to influence other agencies across the industry to up the ante and fully integrate DE&I throughout their business operations.
"Proper representation has measurable benefits in our industry and beyond, and it's critical that we continue to invest in and champion levers that advance underrepresented communities," said Rick Acampora, Global COO of Assembly. "We are committed to doing the work and welcome the opportunity to partner with like-minded companies to drive true progress. Our business depends on it."