Monday, September 19, 2016

13360: ADCOLOR® Tinny Anniversary.

ADCOLOR® celebrates its 10th year of Pollyannaish partying. Ironically and appropriately, the traditional 10-year anniversary gift is tin or aluminum. The original 2007 press release—which inspired MultiCultClassics commentary—declared the following:

ADCOLOR™ is a first of its kind cross-industry collaboration on the issue of diversity. The Coalition hopes to combine the energies of the marketing, media and advertising communities to stimulate ideas, discussion and solutions to advance diversity goals.

Seems as if the only noticeable accomplishment from the “cross-industry collaboration” is transitioning from a trademarked logo to a registered trademarked logo. Whatever. This year, the conference theme is: Challenge Now. Feel free to peruse the details in the image below.

The full price of admission is $1395, putting the soiree on par with The 3% Conference, in terms of tax-deductible—and arguably societal—contributions. Actually, The 3% Conference might be more successful, as the girl group takes credit for boosting the alleged underrepresentation of White women in creative departments from 3% to roughly 11% over just a few years. Minority underrepresentation, in contrast, has worsened over the past decade.

Then again, has ADCOLOR® ever been honestly dedicated to pushing for progress versus partying? The organization has honored diversity trailblazers like Magic Johnson, Queen Latifah and Nick Cannon, while ignoring legitimate diversity champions like Harry Webber, Sanford Moore and Hadji Williams. Hell, Dan Wieden picked up a trophy instead of the aforementioned trio—which is pretty fucked up. Annie the Chicken Queen and Gustavo Martinez have a better shot at ADCOLOR® recognition than Messrs. Webber, Moore and Williams.

So here’s some unsolicited advice to ADCOLOR® cheerleaders: Challenge yourself now to stimulate ideas, discussion and solutions to advance diversity goals and establish true commitment—and maybe credibility will follow.


Anonymous said...

Adcolor is an excuse for the Board of Directors to pick whatever celebrity they most want to hang out with, and get holding companies to foot the bill.

That's why the climax of their year is honoring celebs like Queen Latifah or Nick Cannon (stars who have zero actual pull or place in advertising) instead of actual adland changers (Harry Webber, Sanford Moore, etc). The Board of Directors gets their jollies and the ad industry goes on unchanged, except for few black men and women in it every year (see the Graham numbers).

Every single holding company that funds a position on the Board of Directors, funds tickets to the event, and makes a donation to Adcolor (all tax deductible, of course) puts a huge chunk of text about it in their annual report under the heading of "How Our Holding Company Supports Diversity".

Whenever their shareholders or the NAACP or NYC Human Rights commission or any lawyer comes calling (about whatever latest discrimination tangle their ad agencies have gotten themselves into), they point to their support of Adcolor and go on their merry way.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Donations are not tax-deductible, as ADCOLOR(R) is a 501(C)6 organization, which also means that they do not have to disclose their donors (~$1M) by law on their IRS Tax Return (Form 990) or by request. So when we talk about diverted diversity, I mean DAMN, I can't even write off the party I am funding.

wack said...

It's hard for me to get behind ADCOLOR because I've personally witnessed agencies using it in lieu of diversity.

It's like a convenient public shield they put up instead of hiring, promoting or supporting anyone of color inside the agency.

The frustrating thing is that no one ever calls any agency out on this.

They're just allowed to dodge behind ADCOLOR once a year, which is the absolute bare minimum possible, and then proudly proclaim how committed to diversity they are.