Old (White) Boy Network Under Attack

An Ad Age reporter heard some severe criticism of the white bread industry she covers.

The president-CEO of Black Enterprise magazine yesterday called for consumer and political activism aimed at increasing the number of marketing dollars spent with black-owned media.
Earl “Butch” Graves Jr. said agencies that specialize in targeting blacks often are not responsible for media buying and planning for products bought by blacks. “This is one of the most racist industries in this country. Period. I’m angry about it. Agencies are licensed to practice racism, not just in hiring but also in investing in these media.”
Mr. Graves made the comments at an event sponsored by the magazine to promote its annual “40 Best Companies for Diversity” special report.

In related news, New York’s Commission on Human Rights last week subpoenaed 16 top executives from the city’s advertising firms to testify in September in public hearings on agency hiring practices, with specific emphasis on the absence of blacks in senior positions.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.