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Diverse Business Owners Industry Updates Food Service Industry Updates

McDonald’s Will More Than Double Spending with Diverse-owned Partners

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McDonald’s said it is making new investments to further reflect its diverse customers, crew members and communities in its U.S. marketing.

Over the next four years, the fast-food company and its owner/operators are accelerating the allocation of advertising dollars to diverse-owned media companies, production houses and content creators. McDonald’s total investment in diverse-owned partners — including Black, Hispanic, Asian Pacific American, women and LGBTQ-owned platforms — will more than double, moving from 4% to 10% of national advertising spend between 2021 and 2024. Spend with Black-owned properties, specifically, will increase from 2% to 5% of national advertising spend over this time period.

Additionally, McDonald’s said it will forge new multi-year partnerships with diverse-owned media companies. This longer-term funding will help bolster individual businesses, strengthen the broader marketing supply chain, and support inclusive, authentic storytelling between McDonald’s brand and diverse customers, according to the Chicago-based chain.

“We’ve been making serious commitments that are guided by our values, and with this latest move, we’re taking action to advance diverse-owned companies across the marketing supply chain,” said Morgan Flatley, chief marketing and digital customer experience officer for McDonald’s USA. “We’re using our resources to support these platforms and businesses, which keep the brand at the center of culture while creating deeper relationships with our diverse customers, crew and employees.”

McDonald’s said it also will form an advisory board of external marketing and advertising subject matter experts dedicated to identifying the biggest barriers to economic opportunity facing diverse partners and putting collective resources behind new programs and initiatives to eliminate them. The group’s focus will be to drive change and impact across the industry.

“As a Black female entrepreneur, I am proud to be a part of McDonald’s continued effort to meet women and diverse-owned businesses where they are by providing much-needed resources to do business in an ever-evolving marketplace,” said Vicki Chancellor, chair of McDonald’s USA Franchisee Marketing Committee. “It’s who we are as a leading brand that is doing our part to help underserved communities thrive.”

McDonald’s said its plan builds upon the company’s longstanding relationships with diverse-owned marketing and communications companies including The Boden Agency, Lopez Negrete, IW Group and Burrell Communications Group. It also follows the inaugural Media Partner Summit that McDonald’s hosted in November 2020, which convened diverse-owned media companies to identify mutually beneficial partnership opportunities that align with McDonald’s overall marketing strategy and goals. The summit will be held annually to create and strengthen connections with both new and existing partners across diverse segments.

New commitments to reduce barriers and increase spend with diverse suppliers were shared in the company’s broader Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion aspiration announced last July.

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