Tuesday, November 18, 2014

12234: Are L.A. Agencies More Diverse?

Adweek published an interview with David&Goliath President Brian Dunbar, who made some interesting statements regarding diversity in Los Angeles and the advertising agencies in the area.

Adweek asked, “How does the city of Los Angeles inform agency culture?” Dunbar replied, “L.A. is a very culturally diverse city and I think the cultural makeup of the agencies reflects that. It certainly does at David&Goliath. I see a lot more diversity here than I have at other agencies in my career and I think that helps make the work more interesting. We also have Hollywood, the music industry and Silicon Beach that help strengthen our connection to pop culture and technology.”

The David&Goliath website does show the place may have more diversity than the average White advertising agency—although it is hard to tell if the minorities play roles equal to or greater than the typical D&G employee. Presuming they do, Dunbar might be accurate in his diversity declarations about his own shop. But it’s tough to agree L.A. agencies as a whole are more diverse than the rest of the industry. Surely organizations such as the 4As and AAF would have recognized the positive differences and suggested professional best practices to emulate the Californians. Technically, New York City, Chicago and Atlanta are diverse, yet each city’s advertising agencies do not reflect the area’s populace. Plus, L.A. agencies would be trumpeting their inclusiveness to the rest of the industry, especially when accusations of exclusivity are hurled at adland.

Dunbar seems like a decent bloke with good intentions. And if he does have the secret formula to help diversify the ad industry, he needs to share it with the rest of us.

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