How 1Milk2Sugars plans to uplift influencers of colour

The PR agency's talent representation division is addressing the disparity between opportunities for certain talent.
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Over the course of six years, Priya Chopra’s PR agency 1Milk2Sugars saw a lot of requests from influencers of all types looking for talent representation – something the agency didn’t offer.

She also found that certain brands’ targets – as well as the work the companies were producing and the talent they were recruiting – wasn’t reaching Black communities, especially when it came to lifestyle marketing that the agency specialized in. Being raised by Indian parents in Montreal, Chopra has also faced diversity and inclusion barriers.

All of that led her to come up with the concept for Double Shot back in 2018, an influencer representation division that would address the lack of diversity and representation in lifestyle and influencer marketing by helping to amplify BIPOC and underrepresented influencers, and connecting them with forward-looking brands.

In November, Double Shot will officially launch.

“Our slogan is ‘agents of change,’” Chopra tells strategy. “We really want to shift the narrative. We want more underrepresented communities visible in marketing campaigns on an ongoing basis.”

With renewed focus on race and discrimination in marketing, it is becoming clear the same issues exist among influencers. Several influencers of colour have come forward with what they believe are pay disparities between them and white creators, with others setting up an Instagram account to create more transparency around the “influencer pay gap.”

It’s also been acknowledged that addressing racism in the sector will mean supporting Black creators, who tend to only be utilized for campaigns targeted at Black audiences and are typically under-compensated for their work, despite the fact that they are the source of many cultural trends brands end up piggybacking on.

Double Shot, Chopra says, will have 10 team members at launch, consisting of a business development team, influencer team, marketing and social team, and a branding and marketing team.

The main focus of the agency will be assisting BIPOC and LGBTQ talent secure partnerships and deals, while also ensuring the content produced helps them “tell their authentic stories and have their voices heard.”

In an attempt to eliminate more systemic barriers in the industry, two key pillars Double Shot will look to build out in the long-term are education and mentorship. It is partnering with Toronto’s CEE Centre For Young Black Professionals to offer internships to students enrolled in the organization’s career training program, and talent will be given opportunities to provide mentorship through seminars, speaking opportunities and volunteer work.

Double Shot will also be giving 1% of its net proceeds from campaigns “to different foundations that uplift underrepresented groups,” Chopra says.

As the name suggests, Double Shot is looking to help address the issue on the brand side as well. It will offer turnkey solutions covering campaign conceptualization, talent casting, content creation, reporting and monitoring, focusing on brands that are forward-thinking and willing to allow influencers tell authentic and diverse stories.

“For too long, diversity and representation have been treated as ‘nice-to-haves’ rather than the fundamental pillars of successful brand building,” Chopra says.

“Placing the talent that we have, I think, is going to be a breath of fresh air for marketing,” says Chopra.