Tuesday, March 27, 2007
From the Letters To The Editor section in the latest issue of Advertising Age…
We set the trends, but we’re underrepresented
RE: “Being Black on Mad Ave.: Tales From Young and Old” (AA, March 19).
This is always a great topic in the midst of America’s denial of racism. I am an advertising creative (black American) and let me tell you, yes, it is tough getting in and even tougher rising to the top. But is it different in any other industry? The answer is probably not.
I feel we are not grooming the next wave of kids properly or doing enough to pique their interest about the ad game until it’s too late—Erika Emeruwa, for instance, didn’t get hip to the game until college.
The most puzzling part of advertising and its exclusion of black people on the agency side—both creative and account (although there are more account people)—is that the trendsetters are black. So to be hip and cool and able to talk to the targeted millennials you’d think there’d be an influx of hip, in-the-know, cool black kids into shops, right? Wrong as calling dreadlocks braids.
Instead I’ve had middle-aged white dudes who don’t get out much tell me I’m not black enough. It’s such a good-ol’-boys club that I’m glad the dinosaurs are dying.
Here’s to letting the ideas flow on the basis of great creative and brilliant strategy and people with kick-ass hair.
The revolution will not be televised; it will be publicized.
Santa Monica, Calif.