“Why the Picture of Diversity on Madison Avenue Is So Murky: Companies’ varying reporting methods make it tough to discern the racial and gender makeup of the ad industry” are the headline and subhead of a lengthy report from The Wall Street Journal. There’s nothing new presented in the article—including the figures showing Black representation in the industry has actually declined in recent years. Guess the minority scholarships, internships, high schools, inner-city outreach programs and ADCOLOR® awards aren’t working after all. But you’d never know it, thanks to the smokescreens, diverted diversity, Chief Diversity Officers, EEO-1 data dodging and other assorted schemes Madison Avenue executes to conceal the truth.
Sunday, March 20, 2016
13130: Mad Ave’s Murky Mischief.
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So many questions.
"Overall, 28% of Omnicom’s talent base in the U.S. are multicultural."
QUESTION, is Omnicom counting white women and gay white men as "multicultural?" My guess, based on how the industry has done things in the past, is that they probably are. Still no proof of how many black professionals are in the industry.
"Interpublic, which began formal diversity and inclusion programs in 2005, has reported that minorities excluding women made up 19% of officials and managers in the U.S. in 2015, up from 10% a decade earlier."
QUESTION, is Interpublic counting gay white men and overseas hires on H-1B visas in there? Based on past industry actions, my guess is "yes". Still no proof of how many black professionals are in the industry.
"Minorities represented 26% of Interpublic’s “professional” talent base in the U.S. last year, compared with 19% in 2005."
QUESTION, is Interpublic counting white women, gay white men, and H-1B visa holders in there, which accounts for the the seemingly massive jump in numbers? My guess is yes, that's exactly how they're cooking the books. Still no proof of how many black professionals are in the industry.
"France-based Publicis and rival Havas only break down their workforce by gender as French law doesn't permit the gathering of data on employees’ ethnic origin."
QUESTION, is Havas aware it's operating in the United States, and its United States offices need to follow American law? Hiding behind French law does nothing to further black professionals in advertising in America, if indeed there are any in the first place.
"MDC Partners said it doesn’t publicly disclose diversity data on the workforce of its network agencies due to its partnership model, in which it takes majority positions in agencies and builds its stake in them over time."
QUESTION, then MDC Partners certainly shouldn't be bidding on public or government clients then, should they? What's good for the goose is good for the gander. If they don't want public oversight or attention, then it's best they stick to private sector clients that don't care that there are little to no black professionals in their agencies.
There is no way those holding company numbers are right, absolutely NO WAY.
I can go months without seeing anybody who even remotely looks like me in the agency world, and I've worked in the industry my entire life, in major cities, MULTIPLE AGENCIES, and when I find other people who are ethnic, we laugh about the same experiences:
Being the only one in the room besides the security guy or the secretary or the janitor, being the only one who's in a creative or management position full time, being the only person asked to be on the One Diversity Panel That Always Happens Once A Year, getting asked to give motivational speeches to innercity kids, etc.
Hell, if anything, I've seen with my own eyes the very few POC I started out with giving up and getting out of the industry, so the numbers are smaller than when I started.
Someone's lying, and my money's on the holding companies that gave us a CEO who had no problem referring to some of us as monkeys.
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