Adweek published a lengthy report on Black History Month celebrations at White advertising agencies. Guess the trade journal couldn’t find a single Black advertising agency to feature. Whatever. The patronizing highlights include:
• Deutsch will host a panel discussion on Black women in corporate America, along with a workshop, dance class and exhibition by Black artists. According to Adweek, a Deutsch mouthpiece declared the core of the agency “is in its talent and that ‘creating an inclusive place for our employees is our number one priority.’” Okay, but the statement is coming from an exclusive place that fired its Diversity Director, who later claimed, “I was told that the agency was no longer going to invest in diversity.”
• TBWA\Chiat\Day appears to have delegated the festivities to Chief Diversity Officer for North America Doug Melville.
• Forsman & Bodenfors will screen a movie—either The Hate U Give, Selma, Black Panther or Coming to America. Adweek didn’t probe on how the Sweden-based agency arrived at selecting the film finalists.
• Allen & Gerritsen CEO Andrew Graff said, “Black History Month is a time to reflect on the past and inspire A&G’s commitment to consistently evolve and bravely challenge ourselves to be inclusive.” Sorry, but a peek at the agency leadership displays a lack of bravery and an abundance of culturally clueless cowardice.
Given the many art and music events planned at White advertising agencies, it’s safe to say that saluting Black History Month in adland is a bunch of song and dance.