Wake Up Ad Agencies! Cyrus Mehri is on The Loose Again


On Thursday, January 8 at 11 AM, the NAACP and the civil rights law firm of Mehri & Skalet will announce the Madison Avenue Project, an initiative created to address the advertising industry's alleged "long history of widespread racial discrimination."

As the first step in the project, they will release a new study (first announced here prior to its completion) conducted by the research firm Bendick and Egan Economic Consultants that is said to confirm initially released results that "prove racial discrimination" within executive ranks in the ad industry pertaining to pay and advancement.

The project is led by Cyrus Mehri, who has won several multi-million dollar discrimination settlements against such corporations as The Coca-Cola Company, Morgan Stanley, and Texaco, Inc., and Angela Ciccolo, Interim General Counsel of the NAACP.

We're told the study has all sorts of details about bias in pay, hiring, promotions, and work assignments. The study will also make several recommendations to industry leaders aimed at elimination discrimination.

As Mehri said back in September, "It's not a matter of forming affinity groups among the excluded. What needs fixing isn't the African-Americans; it's the white guy running the agency. We want to relentlessly focus on not the excluded groups but the excluding groups, the people who control the power and make the decisions. That's where people are running into barriers. The leadership has to come from the top."

Take cover, people. Take cover.

by Steve Hall    Jan- 5-09   Click to Comment   
Topic: Agencies, Policy, Research   

Enjoy what you've read? Subscribe to Adrants Daily and receive the daily contents of this site each day along with free whitepapers.



So how come Mr Big-Shot only has one african-american lawyer on staff?

Just what the industry needs as it implodes - a threat that they better only fire the white guys.

Posted by: Marty on January 5, 2009 5:20 PM

Hey, Marty, it's a start.

Posted by: Cyrus on January 5, 2009 5:53 PM


As I've learned—the hardway—the industry won't change until it's good and ready to. Somebody will convince Mehri, etc to cosign yet another BS "program" consisting of summer internships, afterschool special style speechifying and the occasional check cut to some pseudo charity.

Mitt Romney showed more sincerity in his "who let the dawgs out" photo-op with the little black kids than any agency has ever showed in fixing this problem.

Hey Cyrus, if you're reading this--make sure the check clears.

By the way Marty: if black folks were producing the volume and range of crap that white agencies were, they'd be fired, sued and arrested; instead they never even get the chance to suck as bad or as often.

welcome to the ad world 2009--same as it ever was.

Posted by: hadji on January 5, 2009 8:36 PM

Has anyone read his report on racial discrimination in the NBA? Oh ... wait ...

Posted by: Edward on January 6, 2009 12:45 PM

advertising has to be the most racsist industry. the things ive seen are movie material that would make madmen look like choir boys. Ive been at some places where u cant find one person of color at any meeting, or creative team. why is it so rascist im not sure, youll have to ask the good ole boys that.

Posted by: finderskeepers on January 7, 2009 2:53 PM

Absence of non-whites does not, by definition, make a company racist. the issue is much deeper.

Posted by: Steve Hall on January 7, 2009 3:20 PM

Diversity In Media (DIMâ„¢) was at the Press Conference and we have our own opinion of Cyrus Mehri and the Madison Avenue Project. Stay tuned for Chapter 7 of the "Erasing The Color Line" documentary series.

In the meantime, click to watch Chapters 1 to 5 online at Current TV:


We thank you in advance for your support.

DIM Youth

Posted by: Chris on January 12, 2009 10:11 PM