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Agency Uses 'The Pitch' to Talk About Color
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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Ah yes, minority recruitment in advertising, we meet again.

You have to stop jumping into the mainstream conversation. You make AdLand uncomfortable. As if people refuse to talk about racial diversity or something.

Matter of fact, most would rather talk about the "something."

This time, instead of a viral video, a book, or a conference discussion, minority recruitment corners AdLand on TV. The culprit: Muse Communications of Culver City, CA. The show: The Pitch. Muse's Chairman, Jo Muse, took this stage to raise the issue of minority recruitment because, as she says, "It's time the public felt the outrage of these people..."

Below is the ad.



The ad is straight to the point. What do you think of Muse's placement? The people who watch The Pitch are those who undoubtedly have an interest in advertising, many of whom work in the same land Muse is criticizing. Awareness messages are tricky, because they can draw a person in or turn them away, especially when it comes to conversations about race. Race in general, and minority recruitment in advertising specifically, continues to be that colored elephant in the room that everyone wants to avoid.

Why?

It's not like AdLand is bashful when it comes to admitting its flaws. "We need more talent," "We lack skill in the digital arena," "AdLand is deprived of new creativity," and "Advertising is stuck in the past," are all phrases we hear consistently, and are applauded. 

It just takes one person to say "Where are all the black people?" to make a room go silent, get antsy, and force another brave soul to quickly shift the conversation.

Kudos to Muse for using its spotlight to shine some light on colored advertising professionals. Let's hope that raising the issue in such a public forum doesn't fall on deaf ears.


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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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