At More About Advertising, Stephen Foster ponders the latest “‘equity’ bosses”—aka Chief Diversity Officers—being hired by White advertising agencies and White holding companies to bring ever-elusive diversity to the field, which Foster acknowledges is “a challenging role” to assume. That’s an understatement. And it underscores another type of unconscious bias-unconscionable BS in adland. After all, firms have been appointing Chief Diversity Officers for well over a decade with arguably nothing to show for it. Why continue to recruit human heat shields—or pimps, as Sanford Moore labels the executives? Delegating diversity perpetuates inequity.
Dentsu’s DAN follows BBDO with C-suite diversity leader
By Stephen Foster
There are new leaders stalking the upper reaches of big agencies, “equity” bosses charged with ensuring these notoriously un-diverse, largely white, organisations change for the better.
Now Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) has appointed Christena Pyle (above), former executive director of campaigning group Time’s Up and before that at Omnicom, as its first chief equity officer (equity, presumably, standing for fairness as opposed to dishing out share options.) Pyle reports to Americas CEO Jacki Kelley. DAN globally is now helmed by a woman, Wendy Clark joining from DDB.
Pyle’s appointment comes hard on the heels of Omnicom’s BBDO Worldwide appointing Jason Rosario as chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer. Rosario brings over 14 years of experience in the sector. Presumably the other holding companies and bigger indies will follow suit.
Pyle says: “I’m a true believer in the power of DE&I (diversity, equity and inclusion) and the impact it can have on a company’s culture, values, and business growth. Having a diverse mix of talent who can take on the challenges and opportunities a business faces, now and in the future, is a critical factor in any company’s success and resilience.
“In spending time with the Dentsu team, it’s clear that this is a group of people who place the value of caring—for their people, their communities, their customers, and each other—at the forefront of the decisions they make.”
Dentsu hasn’t always had such a reputation of course; there was a big scandal a couple of years ago in Japan with Dentsu accused of driving an employee to suicide with over-work.
All the ad holding companies have release their diversity info for the US and, basically, there isn’t any. So this a challenging role for Pyle, Rosario and their peers.
You know what would be great? If the agencies snatching up all the black and brown creative people and sidetracking their careers to have them be toothless diversity officers with no hiring or firing power, JUST #)$(*@#)($@ HIRED THEM TO WORK IN ACTUAL ADVERTISING INSTEAD.
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