Google teams up with Observer Magazine for #SpendBlack ad takeover

The front cover of this Sunday's Observer Magazine: an image of a black man looking into the camera, while behind him on a white background the line 'Your spend has power' is repeated in row after row in black lettering
Google: in ad takeover of The Observer Magazine for #SpendBlack

Black Pound Day urges consumers to buy products from black businesses and plays on the notion of the entirely commercial Black Friday.

Google and Black Pound Day have staged a total takeover in The Observer Magazine this Sunday (21 November) to promote #SpendBlack, a campaign that aims to encourage people to shop at black-owned businesses found on its directory.

Created by Quiet Storm, the campaign runs with the tagline "Your spend has power".

The takeover will use every ad space in The Observer Magazine to champion different black businesses across the UK, through powerful images, statistics and personal narratives to drive consumers to spend with these enterprises.

Taking place on the first Saturday of each month, Black Pound Day is a movement that aims to address the economic inequalities black business owners face and boost economic opportunities for black communities by increasing the visibility of black businesses. Its moniker is both descriptive of the cause, while also working as a play on the Amazon-originated Black Friday sales period.

Google's Black Pound Day partnership launched in 2020 via a Time Out London magazine special edition that featured only black-owned businesses, restaurants and contributors.

Swiss, the music artist and founder and director of Black Pound Day, said: "The vision I had in June 2020 amidst the anti-racism protests was to help political protesters transition into economic activists. Since then, our movement has dramatically changed spend culture and the competitive landscape for black business owners.

"We are proud to have partnered with Google to amplify our message of supporting black businesses and address socio-economic inequalities. Now in 2021, we are excited to collaborate in launching the #SpendBlack campaign enabling us to increase visibility and broaden consumers access for black makers and entrepreneurs."

Nishma Robb, senior director of brand and reputation marketing at Google, said: "With this ad takeover, we are proud to put the goods, services and issues faced by black entrepreneurs at the centre of The Observer Magazine's readership at a peak retail period. 'Your spend has power' is a message that needs to be heard nationally as consumers become more conscious about how their spending habits contribute to supporting small, diverse businesses and the UK's economic recovery."

Trevor Robinson, executive creative director of Quiet Storm, developed the campaign and platform. He said it was "creating huge waves across society as it reminds people that they have the power to help level the playing field when it comes to economic inequality and give a rocket boost to brilliant, cutting-edge and talented black businesses".

Robinson added: "The takeover of The Observer Magazine will be informative and empowering, reminding readers to be mindful about the impact of where they spend their money. Where you spend your money can make a real difference."


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