|No More 'No Urban, No Hispanic' Dictates, Says 4A's
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
The environment that advertising agencies find themselves in is slowly crawling into the twenty-first century. The 4A's, the shining beacon of understanding and knowledge for advertising agencies in the U.S., just proclaimed a framework for non-discrimination policies.
For us younger professionals, this may be a little bit of a surprise. Yes, as late as 2007, the Federal Communications Commission had to put in place regulations that would prohibit "no urban," and "no Hispanic" dictates in ad contracts with broadcasters, and threatened that doing so could be grounds for losing their license. Lo and behold, since advertisers and clients are not under FCC jurisdiction, the 4A's decided four years later that it was time to catch up with the government.
Yes, the advertising group had to catch up with the Federal government. Sheesh.
In the MultiChannel News report, the Chairman of the media policy committee, Bill Koenigsberg, did say that many of the members do provide equal opportunities and open practices, but he wanted to make sure that all members could have access to the best practices of nondiscriminatory work in the advertising industry.
It is good to see that the 4A's are implementing this policy, regardless of how late it might be. Unfortunately, since this issue apparently had to be addressed, one can assume that there are discriminatory practices still going on in the industry. If advertising is to be the voice of business, all the players doing business in advertising, or with the industry, like 4A's president Nancy Hill said, should have the opportunity to participate.
Why now? Why did the organization believe they needed to come out with this statement? In the past few months, there has been an increase of scrutiny of minority representation in the advertising industry. If you dear readers remember, Jim Glover earlier this year wrote about a black art director's plight in the advertising world. During Creativity Week and Advertising Week 2011, there was a discussion about black people in advertising. And finally, as the demographics of the United States continue to shift, more Hispanic and minority-owned media companies are popping up.
Whatever the case may be, what an exciting time to be in the advertising world, and be a part of a movement where everyone's participation is encouraged. And who would have thought it would be organizations like 4A's and The One Club stepping up to the plate and delivering for those who have needed a voice for so long.
Well done, 4A's. Keep it up.
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