Over the past few months, MultiCultClassics has been occupied with real work. As a result, a handful of events occurred without the expected blog commentary. This limited series—Delayed WTF—seeks to make belated amends for the absence of malice.
Based on an Advertising Age story from last month, it appears the Richards Group and The Home Depot teamed up to build a Latino advertising agency. And you thought the home improvement retailer was only good for constructing patios, kitchens and bathrooms.
The Home Depot staged a pitch for its Latino advertising chores, setting up competition between major minority shops—including the incumbent Vidal Partnership. But in the end, the $37 million account went to Richards/Lerma, the Latino division of Home Depot’s White agency. To be fair, Richards/Lerma was not created from scratch during the review. According to its website, the sub-agency has been producing work for a few clients. However, nothing on the Richards/Lerma reel would ever make it onto the Richards Group reel—or the Vidal Partnership reel, for that matter. Additionally, the place doesn’t look very busy, as leader Pete Lerma also runs the Richards Group’s digital agency.
Now, this is hardly the first time a White agency has outmaneuvered established minority shops by introducing an enterprise that would be deemed unqualified under any other circumstances. Omnicom pulled a similar stunt when
From just about every angle imaginable, these scenarios suck. Clients seem to be saying the premier multicultural shops are not significantly better than a group of relatively unknown folks occupying segregated cubicles within a White agency. On the flipside, White agencies that struggle to diversify their own hallways apparently have no difficulty finding minorities when they need, well, minorities. But if White ad executives are tasked with hiring minorities to handle general market campaigns, there are zero candidates available, and recruiting focuses on inner-city students.
To properly cover up such scandals, simply visit The Home Depot website right here.