Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Advertising Agencies "gated communities?"

Background: in the 1990s the advertising agency business woke up and realized that our businesses didn't reflect the America that we called their "target audiences." Truth is, our clients were more diverse than we were.

Starting then, some progress was made, but in a trade as volatile as advertising, focus on social issues get blurry when your eyes are on your profit margin and your career is on the line. Then, in 2006, New York's Commission Human Rights got involved, and that got the industry's attention.

On Monday night, at a meeting in New York, the issue apparently got ugly. Ken Wheaton posted this article on AdAge that begins " The New York City agency world should be ashamed of itself." Tough stuff to read.

Meanwhile, the American Advertising Federation has a program for college seniors called Most Promising Minority Students which is intended to connect talented beginners interested in a career in advertising with AAF member agencies and companies. Several USF grads have been through the program and most are now working in advertising. If you're a USF student, and think you qualify, let's talk!

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