Thursday, January 31, 2008

5060: Hello Hill.

Adverganza’s Catharine P. Taylor interviewed new 4As CEO Nancy Hill. Check it out if you haven’t already. Taylor is definitely among the top advertising writers in the blogosphere, so it’s not surprising Hill requested talking with her. Here’s an excerpt:

So anyway, we also touched on the industry’s sorry record when it comes to diversity and how the 4As could do more to make it, well, less white bread. (My words, not hers.) Hill feels many minorities have trouble picturing themselves in the ad industry, which is among the difficulties in making the industry more diverse. “How can we position the industry as attractive to all constituencies?” she asked. “I think that starts before somebody gets out of school.”

Um, that’s a pretty safe and obvious statement. But let’s give Hill a little time to really consider the issues and see if she initiates any legitimately progressive, meaningful and measurable efforts. Although it might be interesting and revealing to view Hill’s personal (and personnel) record on diversity, as she’s held leading roles at major agencies.

Also, someone might ask Hill why she thinks minorities have trouble picturing themselves in the ad industry—that is, what’s wrong with this picture? The school remark is cool for future generations. Yet as MultiCultClassics has repeatedly pointed out, the future generations—by virtue of being inherently more diverse than predecessors—will naturally add culture. The question is, how will the industry address the generations that have been grossly underrepresented?

Most importantly, who’s going to school the current majority on how to change?

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