Semester: 2014 Fall

Students: Davida Shiff, Toni Tsvetanova, and Sara Doran

TBWA is a top 10 global advertising agency network, with clients such as Apple, Nissan, Gatorade, Accenture, Jameson and Michelin.

As America becomes a more multicultural society, TBWA strives to reflect this in its creative supply chain. With the two fastest-growing segments of business in America being Women Owned (WBE) and Minority Owned (MBE) Businesses, some clients are looking to their agencies to create more economic opportunities for WBEs and MBEs (collectively, MWBEs) on their behalf.

In 2013 TBWA formally launched its Supplier Diversity Program to better activate this segment. The goal is to spend at least 5% of billable client work on MWBEs that are certified as at least 51% woman-owned, minority-owned, or LGBT-owned.

Though TBWA engages with many diverse business owners, some owners do not want to certify their business as an MWBE due to stigma, cost, documentation burden, and other identity or logistical reasons. Others do not even know about certification or its potential benefits. Because many MWBEs are not certified as such, many hours of client work spent with MWBEs are not counted against the total “spend” percentage that clients request.

With a stakeholder assessment and strategic negotiation advice from HNMCP, TBWA hopes to improve the economic impact of MWBEs.

The project proposal includes, but may not be limited to, the following activities:

  • Review of policies, rules, and research relevant to MWBEs and certification;
  • Research on relevant strategic negotiation best practices from other industries;
  • Interviews with certification council representatives, business owners on both sides of certification, clients, different agency officers, and other stakeholders;
  • Mapping of the interests around certifying and maximizing the economic impact of MWBEs.

TBWA Field Visit - lo res  TBWA Field Visit 3 - lo res



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