Wednesday, November 17, 2010

8174: Mad Ave Kidding Around With Diversity.

At Advertising Age, Draftfcb President-CEO Laurence Boschetto posted a lengthy press release on his agency’s partnership with TORCH (Together Our Resources Can Help), an organization offering career training and opportunities in creative fields to—you guessed it—minority youth. Boschetto gushed, “Each time we provide more open industry access to young, diverse talent, we all take a meaningful step toward creating a more diverse industry for the future.” Right. Meanwhile, the 4As named Julius L. Dunn, II as Industry Liaison to High School for Innovation in Advertising and Media (IAM). Dunn was previously running Adversity before being unceremoniously dumped by The One Club. In his new role, Dunn’s responsibilities include “developing and instituting curriculum for the academic and career competencies required of students to become competitive candidates in the advertising and media fields.” Okey-doke.

As always, these minority youth outreach programs are commendable. But why the hell doesn’t anyone ever announce a major initiative involving minorities of legal drinking age? Does diversity not apply to colored people with a high school diploma or college degree? Additionally, why do all of these educational efforts never consider schooling the existing White executives on diversity?

The industry that brags about its innovative and breakthrough thinking hatches the same idea for inclusive workplaces over and over again. When it comes to diversity, Madison Avenue continues to take baby steps—literally and figuratively. Grow up already.

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