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Adweek’s Minority Report

Adweek released an article this week analyzing the amount of minority representation on the agency and executive side of advertising.  The article details percentages of nationwide agencies and the class action suits against them regarding their lack of diversity in hiring.  Nationwide the percentage of non-white employees holding executive positions is inadequate.

  • 5 percent African American
  • 3 percent Asian
  • 8 percent Hispanic or Latino

This is not a case for affirmative action (which I have mixed feelings about) but a concern about how the lack of diversity also shapes the ads produced by advertising agencies.

I’ve been secretly griping at the complete lack of diversity in the ads themselves.  Its true that ads are featuring more Black, Hispanic and Asian people than ever but the majority of those commercials are limited in their scope and representation of the lives of minority groups.  I’m not even close to suggesting out right racism but when a majority of white execs produce an ad featuring primarily white people or limited variation of roles for minorities in ads its seems indicative of the limited mental capacity that could be unknowingly used to create ads.

My major gripe with diversity in ads is how it affects the forward motion of advertising on a grander and general scale. If we’re hampering on expanding representation of minority groups as a singular community how can ads move forward to include even more diversity in commercials?

When was the last time you saw an interracial couple in a commercial?

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