Tuesday, September 16, 2008
5951: Madison Avenue And The Color Line—8. Affirmative Action. And Inaction.
Chapter 4 of Madison Avenue and the Color Line by Jason Chambers is titled, “Affirmative Action and the Search for White Collars.” Chambers continues to do a stellar job of presenting the details, showing how various civil rights groups, activists and professionals sought to solve the diversity problems rooted in exclusivity and discrimination. Many political organizations convinced clients and agencies to depict more Blacks in ads and to hire more Blacks, hoping to transform society and inspire desegregation. Diversifying Madison Avenue was just part of a much bigger goal.
Ironically, while Blacks’ presence in advertising messages has arguably improved, the advertising industry has grown more segregated than ever. And this week, Advertising Age announced prominent attorney Cyrus Mehri is on the case.
It should be interesting to see if history repeats itself. The 1960s-1970s efforts were ultimately hampered by a weakened economy. Today’s recession will certainly serve as an excuse for further inaction.
Although even the most cash-strapped agency leaders should still invest about $40 and pick up a copy of Madison Avenue and the Color Line.
This is the ninth installment of MultiCultClassics’ running review of Madison Avenue and the Color Line by Jason Chambers. See the previous posts here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.