Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Essay 1742

Letters From The Latest Issue Of Advertising Age…

Accentuate positive in minority issue

The headline in the Feb. 12, 2007 edition of Advertising Age, “Nearly One-Third of AAF Minority Candidates Vacate Ad Industry,” is a deliberate distortion of the research upon which the story is based. As noted in the article, 69.3% of Most Promising Minority Students are employed in advertising, marketing and communications. How many industries can prove those numbers?

Not only have we come a tremendous way since starting the program in 1997, but the American Advertising Federation will continue to refine and improve the workplace environment for minorities through new business practices relating to mentoring, integrating and promoting talent. We will do so despite Advertising Age’s reporting.

Wallace S. Snyder
American Advertising Federation
New York

As a proud alumna of the AAF Most Promising Minority Students program, I was saddened that the focus was on the one-third who left and not the two-thirds who stayed. The success rate of the AAF MPMS program is unparalleled. As the premier industry trade publication and a valued supporter of the AAF MPMS program, I would think you would support the incredible success of the program and not join the tired choir that continue to champion the negative point of view of diversity in advertising.

Tiffany R. Warren
VP-director of multicultural programs and community outreach
New York

One group left out of the diversity fray

RE: “NYC Shops Scramble to Hit Diversity Targets” (AA, Jan. 15). There is a minority within the diversity pool that seems to be left out of almost every mention of the subject: service-disabled-veteran-owned businesses. Attending the 4A’s/AAF diversity fair in New York in November, I was able to identify a grand total of two of us out of 400-plus attendees. All federal government contracts require 3% participation by service-disabled-veteran-owned businesses. Yet, every attempt by this service-disabled-veteran-owned business with HUB (historically underused business) Zone certification to partner with the holding-company agencies with large government contracts has been met with a slamming door.

With the number of service-disabled veterans joining the work force after serving our country in the “global war on terror,” there needs to be a big wake-up call for integration of this federally designated minority into the advertising business.

David Esrati
Chief creative officer
The Next Wave
Dayton, Ohio

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

HJ, thanks for mentioning my letter. I wrote about this back in November:
Since attending that event- I've gotten one letter: from Ogilvy saying they were swamped with info- and would be getting back to me. I've chatted with what I considered my best prospect(which hasn't been real promising). McCann has a 300 million dollar Army recruiting contract- 3% has to go to SDVOB's- I've talked to their diversity department and I may as well be talking to myself. They have preconceived notions of who a suitable partner is- and apparently, no flexibility.
I don't see things changing any quicker for SDVOB's than other minorities.