August 07, 2012

   I just finished reading a blog post on’s 'The Big Tent' title “On Diversity Front, Adland Is Actually Reflective of American Society”.  It is interesting to point out that in articles and blogs regarding Diversity in the advertising business the majority of the focus is how to incorporate African Americans in the job force and create inclusive creative that only uses the lack of the African American phenomenon in commercials as the basis for the argument.

Are African Americans the ONLY minority group not represented properly in the ad business?

What about the Hispanic Professional and Consumers?

The Hispanic copywriter, account executive, media planner, etc, etc.?

One of these days we are going to as an Industry have to have a frank discussion to why the national discussion on Diversity is usually only about African Americans and why we have very little Hispanic representation in KEY MARKETING ROLES at large corporations.

For too long in the US Hispanic advertising business we have wanted to be above the fray and the conversation about race.

Nos estan cominedo los dulces por todos lados.

I have tried many of times to write a blog about this topic directly with the help of Industry friends and it is very difficult to write without sounding biased.

What is your position?

Gene Bryan

CEO — serving the Puerto Rico advertising, marketing & sales industries — serving the US Hispanic advertising, marketing & media professional — Hispanic Chief Marketing Officers exchanging ideas — serving the Hispanic Public Relations professional — insight for reaching Hispanics — Thought Leadership for the US Hispanic Ad, Marketing, Media and PR pros


Gene, I agree, there's an urgent need for representation of Hispanic professionals and consumers in the national conversation about diversity and inclusion. Nos estan comiendo los dulces, indeed. I started my career in the late 80s through a diversity program that still exists today, the 4As Multicultural Advertising Intern Program. Since then, I've worked for general market, Hispanic and multicultural shops, so perhaps I bring a unique perspective on the subject. Who leads the dialogue? If we look at the major sponsors of diversity efforts in the industry over the years, it’s easy to conclude that general market and AA agencies have lead most of the ad hoc dialogue on the subject, while we in the Hispanic business have remained “above the fray” for too long, as you well put it. The AA influence is historical. In the early 80s, AA agencies were talking about Black culture as the prevalent trend-setting force influencing American culture at large, pushing for a “multicultural” business approach, and pioneering the concept of an ethnically and socially diverse staff. I believe those are some of the reasons why AA executives have historically taken a leadership role on diversity issues. Our lack of involvement is historical too. Even though I tried to convince several Hispanic agencies to support the 4As MAIP initiative during my career, I’ve succeeded only once. The excuse was always the same “we’re already hiring Latinos so we’re are contributing to diversity.” I never saw any of the major Hispanic shops participate in MAIP during the years I was actively involved with the program. And frankly, I can only recall being asked to attend diversity events or participate in diversity efforts while working in general market and multicultural shops. What to do? 1)Lead. Our leading industry Hispanic associations could kick-start a frank dialogue about diversity both internally and externally. What diversity means to the general market business and what it means to us. 2)Engage. Ask to be invited to the table by the 4As and the AAF and follow through. Identify Hispanic advocates and key opinion leaders that could commit and sustain an active role in this dialogue and support them in their efforts to bring the Hispanic POV to the forefront. 3)Educate. Conduct a full assessment of diversity within our Hispanic business. Address the issues we are facing today and plan a strategy for the future that promotes diversity within agencies and clients. 4) Network. Create events that help Hispanic professionals connect with opportunities beyond the Hispanic industry to provoke change at a larger scale.

Have said it many times. Hispanic agencies must trascend its traditional bounds and evolve into the next generation of "something" Where I see this "something" going is: 1. Not communication: persuasion... so we become the first generation of "Persuasion Companies" 2. Not targeting minorities: micro targeting... we are, better than many, accustomed to surgically segmenting and targeting small groups in cost efficient yet effective ways 3. Results-orientation. Whether branding, direct... anything, Hispanic agencies were created and thrived on the idea that they provide extraordinary value to their clients 4. The new mainstream: with Hispanics now over 50 million, we are not some tiny little group hidden away in some corner of the city. We are forming the new mainstream so we understand this new country So we become the new "General Market" agency, in the business of micro-targeting, persuading consumers one small group at a time in a cost efficient but effective way

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