If someone told us that the frontier of outreach for agency diversity in advertising would engulf Pittsburgh, we laugh our faces off.
Indeed, though Pittsburgh is diverse in many aspects, it lacks that diversity in advertising.
Though, we are happy to say, when we were in high school, Pittsburgh's Mullen branch offered an apprenticeship program where we learned about different aspects of advertising, once per week (Fridays, we think) at a local college, and spent that time with Mullen executives and account managers.
Well, Mullen Pittsburgh is at it again. This time, they are going into the classroom.
Yes, Mullen has started a program called "AD U," and it is a 12-week program where Mullen spends some time teaching about marketing and advertising and then the students get a chance to work on real accounts and pitch real ideas to the agency.
Mullen — kudos.
We wish we could take credit for pointing out this need. But as Richard Edelman said in like, 2007, we need to reach diverse audiences before college. That's it; there's been no better solution. If agencies want diverse talent, they need to search for it.
Yes, we realize that the last time we talked about minorities in AdLand people commented about not being given the time of day. Not only are we sure that they have been frustrated, but we also felt that cold shoulder. Multiple times.
Whatever. We're not here to exchange "the industry is racist" stories, but we're here to showcase how agencies looking to force change can do it.
So ease down on the "woe is me" stuff.
In any case, we thought it was cool to see a branch of a world-renowned agency take part in its community and open minds about careers in advertising.
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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