The Media Leadership Council (MLC) of the 4A’s is issuing this Fair Play Charter to its members as guidance and agreement to fair and equitable treatment to owners of minority-owned and -targeted media. Fair Play represents a recommitment to nondiscriminatory practices in media buying process. At times there are questions around perceived No Hispanic/No Urban dictates in the media-buying process. The Fair Play Charter initiative is consistent with our ambition to raise the bar in the media community and to reinforce our manifesto, which outlines our commitment to “promote and enhance media’s profile and reputation, share best practice within the wider marketing community, and promote people development, diversity and equality.”
We respectfully request that all 4A’s member media agencies/holding companies commit to this charter, or incorporate this charter into your agency’s policies and procedures handbook.
Agency Commitment to the 4A’s Minority-Owned & Minority-Targeted Media Fair Play Charter
[Insert agency name/hereafter Agency] is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all media owners, suppliers and agents.
Subject to the protection of the Agency’s and its Clients’ confidential information and data, the Agency will clearly communicate selection criteria to all appropriately qualified Media Owners. This will be consistent with each Agency’s Clients’ communication strategies, media target audiences, and efficient media-buying practices. Agency policy is to grant a fair and equal opportunity to all such Media Owners.
Complaint Review Process
If a Media Owner feels that it has been subject to “blocking” or discriminatory buying practices within the sales-pitch process, the Agency will provide the opportunity for the Media Owner to voice its concerns through the Agency complaint-review process. For the purposes of this charter, “blocking” or discriminatory practices will be defined as any buying policy that is in conflict with the FCC media regulations.
On such occasions, the Agency will provide each Media Owner the opportunity to present, in writing, the basis of its concern to the Agency’s discrimination complaints review committee or similar. Based on its findings, the committee may request a meeting with the Media Owner to discuss all relevant information/documentation related to the complaint.
In implementing this Fair Play Charter, agencies should evaluate their business service offerings and Media Owner selection practices prior to developing their agencies’ Media Owner nondiscrimination procedures. The 4A’s also recommends that:  Agency Media Owner nondiscrimination policies and employee training initiatives reinforce nondiscriminatory statutory requirements and  agencies involve legal counsel in the design and implementation of any such policies.