[Essay Seventeen is a semi-sequel to Essay Fourteen, which discussed how DiversityInc.com recently called out Adweek and Advertising Age for the publications’ woefully inadequate representation of minorities.]
To celebrate Easter, I’m offering a basket filled with free advice to Adweek and Advertising Age. These multicultural munchies can help bring delicious diversity — and hopefully prevent nauseating visits from Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton. Bon appetit!
• Advertising Age, make your Multicultural page a weekly feature (versus the irregular event it’s become). If it’s too hard to completely fill the space every week, you’re not trying hard enough.
• Story Idea: Last year Saatchi & Saatchi’s New York office faced a potential racial discrimination lawsuit. What’s the verdict?
• Hey, here’s a novel notion — both publications should consider hiring some minority columnists and reporters.
• Story Idea: The New York City Commission on Human Rights is supposedly probing the industry’s diversity issues. How’s the investigation going?
• Adweek, include work from minority advertising agencies in your monthly creative reviews.
• Story Idea: Thomas Burrell retired and was inducted into the AAF Hall of Fame. How about an interview?
• Story Idea (cont’d): Burrell left his agency to a team seeking to move beyond African American advertising. How goes the movement?
• Advertising Age, does AdAge/IAG’s Top Spots record responses for minority viewers? If not, why?
• Story Idea: Y&R Chairman-CEO Ann Fudge allegedly launched initiatives to improve the company’s diversity. Is the agency making progress?
• Adweek, invite contributors from Marketing Y Medios to occasionally write for Adweek.
• Story Idea: Let’s give some press to the nearly invisible Asian American advertising agencies.
• In 2005 Advertising Age and Adweek let Black History Month pass with virtually zero Black references. Don’t blow it again next year. Plus, keep Hispanic Heritage Month in mind for future issues.
• Story Idea: Adweek interviewed minority creatives who choose to work at minority agencies — now interview minority creatives working at mass market agencies.
• Both publications’ editorial boards should put the following books on their personal reading lists: Proversity by Lawrence Otis Graham, Beyond Race And Gender by R. Roosevelt Thomas, Success Runs In Our Race by George Fraser, and The New Mainstream by Guy Garcia.
• Story Idea: Showcase minority suppliers — the directors, production companies, music houses, photographers, illustrators, designers, and others who make it all happen.
Here are a few tasty treats for minority advertising agencies to consume…
• Partner with Adweek and Advertising Age. Let’s be real — the staffers at these publications are painfully White, so they’ll need your help to develop relevant and correct editorial content.
• Fight off the lethargy resulting from years of being ignored. Remaining segregated contributes to the problems.
• Improve your self-promotional efforts.
• Produce work that demands industry attention.
I could continue, but I’ve got an egg hunt to attend. Happy Holiday!