Wanted to briefly comment on the I’mpart initiative. While the Advertising Club of New York deserves kudos for “raising the issue of diversity in our business,” it’s always amazing to see yet another industry entity delivering the same clichéd solution. That is, everyone winds up tossing a seemingly large wad of money primarily at inner-city youth. This phenomenon has been repeatedly discussed here here here here here here before.
Granted, $700,000 is a decent chunk of change. But it helps to put things in financial perspective. First, the New York Times indicated the loot would be divided among at least five diversity-friendly efforts. Second, when the Center for Advertising Excellence at Howard University’s John H. Johnson School of Communications launched in 2009, program officials estimated success would require $1 million annually. Third, $700,000 translates to roughly 2-3 creative director salaries on Madison Avenue.
The following suggestion has also been repeatedly discussed here here here before. Specifically, exclusive enterprises like the Advertising Club of New York should create and fund educational courses targeting the over-served White advertising agency veterans. Recruiting minority youngsters won’t reap long-term benefits unless work environments undergo intellectual and spiritual enlightenment, becoming more inviting to non-Whites. In short, today’s Mad Men must replace their cultural cluelessness with cultural competence.