Tuesday, February 03, 2015

12464: Playing The MLK Percentages.

As a companion post to the 2015 MLK Day perspective, the following quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. warrants commentary:

“If a city has a 30% Negro population, then it is logical to assume that Negroes should have at least 30% of the jobs in any particular company, and jobs in all categories rather than only in menial areas.”

When MLK’s formula is applied to the advertising industry, the results reveal how diversity remains a dream deferred and denied. In fact, it’s pretty fucked up. To focus this examination—as well as commemorate Black History Month—let’s consider the Black populations in major cities.

Based on 2010 U.S. Census figures, Blacks comprise 82.7 percent of the citizenry in Detroit. How does that number hold up against the makeup of Team Detroit teammates? What’s the Truth Well Told on inclusivity at Commonwealth/McCann?

Blacks account for 54.0 percent of Atlanta residents. Are there even 54.0 Black advertising executives in the entire state of Georgia? Somebody ask Bruce Levenson and Danny Ferry if they know.

Chicago boasts a 32.9 percent Black populace. Leo Burnett will need far more than 66 years to achieve fairness by the MLK standards. DDB Chicago would have to scour the planet for global citizens to reach the promised land. If FCB Chicago were required to deliver on MLK’s logic, the White advertising agency’s leaders would shit their pants.

Los Angeles features a 9.6 percent Black demographic. Perhaps the single-digit percentage explains David&Goliath President Brian Dunbar’s belief that La-La Land agencies are more diverse—that is, the area is working with a lower-than-National-average figure. Meanwhile, any diversity numbers provided by Deutsch LA—via Twitter or other methods—would almost certainly be lies.

Blacks represent 25.5 percent of New Yorkers. Sorry, but Madison Avenue makes Mad Men look like a Shonda Rhimes television show.

The delegation, deferment, delay and denial of diversity in the advertising industry is downright discrimination. And dangerous, when reviewing this MLK quote: “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I feel like I just got hit in the stomach. I shouldn't have read the articles from 2009.

Nothing has changed.

We still have diversity job fairs (but not seeing any black people in agencies).

We still have diversity mentoring programs (but not seeing any black people in real jobs in agencies).

We still have ad color awards shows (to honor white agencies for putting an occasional black actor in something their white creatives put some hip-hop music on top of).

We have once a year Black History Month ads running in obscure magazines and brands and agencies wipe their hands and say they did their duty.

We've got black diversity consultants and heads of diversity galore, but they don't do anything other than show up at the aforementioned events. Since 2009!!!

Jesus this is hopeless isn't it?