More Whitewashing And Today’s Not-So-Feel-Good Statistic

“…turnover with minorities is 30 percent higher than whites at IPG.”
Adweek used a non-staff writer to put together this report on diversity, and the lack thereof, in the ad industry. While much of the report is nothing new, that 30% stat is huge. Because we’re talking about IPG–a very, very large holding company, not some small agency where 30% would only amount to a few folks.
With the economy and the ad industry tanking, diversity still won’t be a priority. Much of what I wrote 4 years ago on this topic still holds true:

The bottom line is, well, the bottom line. Ad agencies are too tightly staffed to go out of their way to recruit minorities the way FORTUNE 500 companies and others might. Plus, there is no job security for anyone–and agencies who layoff people on a somewhat regular basis might be opening themselves up to discrimination lawsuits if those layoffs include minorities. There may be some good old-fashioned CYA happening there.
Agencies these days are not proactive–they’re reactive. If clients demand that the agency staff reflect the makeup of their audience, then you might see things change. But it won’t happen just because some agency CEO makes a speech at an industry conference or some equal opportunity line gets thrown into a classified ad. It’ll happen one person at a time, one interview at a time, one position at a time.



About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.