Thursday, May 22, 2014

11871: It’s Still 1969 In Adland.

Advertising Age published the latest weekly installment of Throwback Thursday, spotlighting advertising-related news from 1969. Here’s a historical item worth noting:

Chiat/Day Effort to Combat Racism Includes Booklet Dashing Rumors

Issues of racial intolerance have been another recurring theme throughout this season, and this piece looks at Chiat/Day co-founder Jay Chiat’s attempt to fight racism with a campaign for the L.A. County Commission on Human Relations. It included a pamphlet that highlighted rumor vs. reality when it came to people’s perceptions of African Americans and posters and bumper stickers with copy such as “Is Your Neighborhood All White or All American?”

Nice. In 1969, Chiat\Day feigned interest in battling L.A. racism. Over 45 years later, the advertising industry—featuring diversity-averse agencies like Chiat\Day—remains a separate-yet-unequal mess. Plus, Los Angeles is still reeling from the racist rant of Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Oh, how times have changed. The classic headline could be rewritten for relevance today: Is Your Ad Agency All White Or All American? Throwback Thursday should be renamed Throw-Up Thursday.

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