“The same feet these companies use to stand with us in solidarity are the same feet they use to stand on our necks," the 51-year-old wrote in his letter.
After GM listed REVOLT as one of the Black-owned companies they support, Combs denounced that claim, asserting that GM amongst other prominent companies have exploited the Black community.
“Black-owned media are a vital component of our marketing mix, and we evaluate our spend for media partners through several core metrics, including transparency, innovation, ad quality, audience delivery and brand safety,” GM said in a statement last week.
The company pledged to quadruple its Black media advertising. Combs wasn't sold by the statement.
“Corporations like General Motors have exploited our culture, undermined our power, and excluded Black entrepreneurs from participating in the value created by Black consumers,” the rapper contends. “In 2019, brands spent $239 billion on advertising. Less than 1% of that was invested in Black-owned media companies.”
According to Automotive News, another group of Black media moguls including Ice Cube, Roland Martin and more called out GM CEO Mary Barra in an advertisement for refusing to meet with them.
“Mary, you have asked us to meet with your Chief Marketing Officer, Deborah Wahl," the Detroit Free Press advertisement reads.
“We have absolutely no interest in that because when Deborah was Chief Marketing Officer of McDonald’s, in our opinion, Black Owned Media was, once again, severely neglected, minimized and discriminated against. To be clear, Black Owned Media and not minority owned media, because minority includes white women and large corporations like General Motors can hide behind and tout their minority records while continuing not to do business with Black Owned Media companies,” the group writes.
The ad https://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/general-motors/2021/03/28/gm-ceo-mary-barra-blasted-racist/7028551002/ " rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">continued on to say "less than 0.5% goes to media companies owned" by Black CEOs, calling that "horrendous, considering that we as African Americans make up approximately 14% of the population in America and we spend billions buying your vehicles."
GM has also been accused of racism on prior occasions, as Blavity previously reported.
Combs persisted in his letter, urging Corporate America to restore their allocation efforts toward the Black community.
“We demand that Corporate America reinvest an equitable percentage of what you take from our community back into our community,” he wrote. “If the Black community represents 15% of your revenue, Black-owned media should receive at least 15% of the advertising spend.”
“If you love us, pay us! Not a token investment. Not a charity check or donation,” he demanded.