Omnicom Struggling To Diversify

“Madison Avenue is afraid of the dark.” -Nat King Cole in 1954
According to Crain’s New York Business, Omnicom will spend $1.25 million over five years to fund a group of diversity experts.
The mission of the Omnicom Diversity Development Advisory Committee is to identify and attract minority talent to its agencies, develop outreach programs to elevate the profile of the ad industry within the minority community, and work with educational institutions to foster a talent pool of minority individuals.
High Jive, the ad blogosphere’s diversity expert, points out that Omnicom already pledged $2.5 million in 2006.
He says any effort is progress but he’s disappointed about how slowly things move in this area. He’s also concerned that committee members might be clueless about the ad industry.
“I’ve always believed Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have struggled in their involvement because of their cluelessness about the business,” says High Jive. “Their perspective is that Madison Avenue should be able to simply put the word out, and senior-level minorities would appear. It’s not exactly like, say, professional sports, where the qualified candidates really exist already in the field.”



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.