Agencies Run From Diversity 'Like Chickens With Asses Plucked Clean'
Dishing out some of the best diversity-related smack talk, New York City Councilman Larry Seabrook, in reaction to New York advertising agencies' failure to heed an invitation to appear at yesterday's minority-owned public hearings. said agencies "ran like chickens with their asses plucked clean." Well we all know agency folk are right up there with metrosexuals when it comes to trimming the privates, ass plucking is a new one on us. Agencies, advised by the AAAA's legal counsel, idn't show because they were told their earlier hiring arrangements with the Human Rights Council was enough to do the diversity trick. Like last minute preparations for a big presentations where "Fuck it. We don't need that. We'll just fake it during the presentation" is commonplace thought, agencies figured Advertising Week events would be a whole lot more fun than being grilled by a bunch of pissed off, pro-diversity city officials. Afterall, the Week's crucially important, all expenses paid, lavish luncheons and late night parties just can't be missed.
Anyway, in all seriousness, it is an issue that does need to be discussed. Are agencies really not recruiting properly? Do they not know where and how or why to recruit minorities? Is the advertising business attractive enough for people who aren't creative wannabes and know thy can make more money in practically any other industry? Will the industry forever be a white boy's country club? These are the buring questions. Now for the oh so perfectly timed plug.
Adrants, along with Business Development Institute is hosting the Advertising Industry Diversity Job Fair and Leadership Conference to tackle this issue head on and hopefully accomplish something the industry's been trying to accomplish for over 40 years. Held at NYU's Helen & Martin Kimmel Center for University Life on November 8, the event will be both a conference (in the AM0 and a job fair (in the PM). The event will be keynoted by Burrell Communications Co-CEO McGhee Williams. Agencies. Seriosly. If you want to deal with this issue head on in a hopefully less combative arena than your typical feisty City Council meeting, yoo might want to consider attending this event. Seriously.
We just did a comic on this topic:
I've worked for a number of agencies over the years. And 99% of the time, I'm the only creative of color. It's an incredibly frustrating battle. You ask the question, "why won't you hire more creatives of color?" And you get the standard response "we can't find them." Yeah okay. Or you get "we currently aren't looking for someone to fill that position." What. But you turn around and someone else if filling that seat. It's an Ivory Coast Industry and I guess it's cool to have a friend of color. But not concept with a person of color.
Agencies have said for a long time there are no minorities interested in the field. That's not what I've seen and I think it's a cheap excuse to ignore the fact they're not doing any effort to improve the diversity in their offices. With all the bad publicity ad agencies are getting, I think they could use some points by showing they're making an effort.
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