Advertising Age published a perspective titled, “Let’s Stop Talking About Diversity—Let’s Start Taking Action: The Ad Industry Needs to Invest in Diversity Programs—Like Apple and TMCF.” The column was co-written by Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. and Steven Wolfe Pereira, who believe the solution is to offer financial support to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, an initiative that will accomplish the following:
TMCF can guarantee it will marshal the collective resources of the country’s HBCUs to deliver a comprehensive solution that will include a highly selective talent acquisition strategy to ensure these same conversations [about the dearth of diversity in the advertising industry] are not occurring at next year’s 4A’s conference.
Um, do these gentlemen have any familiarity with Madison Avenue, where such endeavors are executed on a regular basis—with minimal results? Has Howard University succeeded in similar efforts at all? Minority scholarships and internships are the contrived clichés that have served as smokescreens for decades.
The duo closed their proposal by declaring, “Let’s make 2016 the year that we stop treating ‘the diversity issue’ like a hot potato. Let’s stop talking about the issues. Let’s take action to fix them.” Okay, but let’s start with an original idea versus regurgitating the failures of the past.
It would be more effective to wish Thurgood Marshall would rise from the dead and take on Madison Avenue before the Supreme Court.