Monday, August 02, 2010
7839: DDB Doesn’t Stand For Diversity.
Assorted blogs, Adweek and Advertising Age reported on the Chief Creative Officer musical chairs recently played at DDB New York. Matt Eastwood replaced Eric Silver. Whatever.
Silver had assumed the position about a year ago—replacing Lee Garfinkle—and he was allegedly shifted to another role a few months before Eastwood’s coronation. Again, whatever.
However, let’s examine the scenario from a diversity-related perspective.
First, DDB New York appointed a Chief Diversity Officer in 2008. And parent company Omnicom appointed a Chief Diversity Officer in 2009. Were the CDOs involved with the CCO hiring decision in 2010? Don’t bet on it.
It’s also worth noting that Silver was originally wooed away from BBDO New York, an agency within the Omnicom network. Technically, Omnicom has a policy against swiping talent from sister agencies. In regards to diversity, it perpetuates exclusivity if shops are essentially pulling from a limited pool of Omnicom-owned White folks. Eastwood, incidentally, was recruited from DDB Australia. Guess DDB ran out of White male candidates in the U.S.
Were any minorities interviewed or even considered for the CCO job? Perhaps it’s time to introduce Madison Avenue to a version of the Rooney Rule. If the industry hopes to make progress, there must be greater transparency to prove deliberate action is taking place.
Besides, DDB has not exactly been successful repeating its standard hiring practices. The parade of White CCOs has led to vanilla work.