Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, March 08, 2021

Is the New York advertising industry too white-bread? City Councilman Larry Seabrook thinks so, and is ready to call agency heads in to grill them about the dearth of women and minorities in Madison Avenue workplaces.

“Based on those who are in the industry, I was told that the lack of diversity is unbelievable,” said Seabrook, a Bronx Democrat. “A secretary or custodian job is basically the limits of what African-Americans and Latinos have as employment.”

Seabrook’s call for a public hearing comes during an ongoing probe by the city’s Human Rights Commission into the employment practices of more than a dozen ad agencies in the city.

“Subpoenas have been issued,” commission Chairwoman Patricia Gatling told Council members at a Civil Rights Committee meeting last month. “We’re still gathering information, and it appears as if this is one of the last vestiges of industry that refused to diversify.”

Does an old-boys’ network mentality persist in the advertising and marketing game? It’s a field I’ve been toying with breaking into for a long while now. I’m a white male, so if this is true, I guess I’d have an inside track. But I don’t think I’d want it.

There’s the macro-social angle to consider, too. While the ad industry isn’t as tightly concentrated in New York City as it might have been half a century ago, Madison Avenue is still where a disproportionate amount of the action is. As the source of so much creative development and implementation for marketing media, is this lack of diversity reflected in the advertising messages we encounter every day? It’s the concept of a fairly homogeneous vanguard of ideamen, formulating concepts based on their own narrow sets of experiences and inputs.

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 03/08/2021 10:40:32 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Business, New Yorkin' | Permalink |

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