Monday, April 21, 2008

5380: Mad Ave Diversity Color Commentary.

Here’s some color commentary regarding Madison Avenue’s diversity progress reported by The New York Times and Advertising Age.

As both sources noted, it’s tough to really determine the truth behind the figures.

Don’t mean to sound paranoid and suspicious. At the same time, Madison Avenue spent many decades delivering broken promises and blatant lies on the issue. Additionally, when New York City’s Commission on Human Rights asked agencies to submit staff figures for the most recent investigation, one shop listed its Black chief of security as an officer of the company. So there’s a pattern of sneaky behavior to inspire the raising of eyebrows.

There are other factors to consider too. Besides setting their own hiring goals—which is like letting a convicted criminal write his own sentence—the agencies participating in the pact never agreed to a definition for what constitutes a minority. From a technical standpoint, White women are categorized as minorities. To honestly assess the success, someone must closely examine the numbers. MultiCultClassics nominates Sanford Moore to sift through the data.

Draftfcb claimed 10 percent of its new minority hires are Black. Does the total reflect the workers picked up in the IPG acquisition of Steve Stoute’s agency—which includes Jay-Z?

And can somebody explain Omnicom’s poor showing? These guys allegedly created the Diversity Development Advisory Committee to brainstorm solutions. Omnicom agency Merkley + Partners actually scored a zero in its efforts.

It’s curious that Arnold didn’t offer minority breakdowns, especially since the place is connected with crusader Tiffany R. Warren. Surely Warren would be the first to boast of Arnold’s accomplishments, provided there’s something worth bragging about.

Indeed, all the agencies are awfully quiet despite apparently exceeding objectives in certain areas. What’s up with that?

Let’s hope the paranoia and suspicions turn out to be completely unwarranted. MultiCultClassics will quickly publish retractions and apologies as soon as the facts are revealed.

(SFX: Ticking clock, drumming fingers, cheery whistling.)

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