- NEW YORK
The ANA and its diversity initiative, the Alliance for Inclusive & Multicultural Marketing (AIMM), today acknowledged limited progress in all aspects of diversity and inclusion--including diverse leadership, cultural relevance in advertising and growth in multicultural marketing.
In a letter to their boards of directors and full memberships, the organizations called for sweeping changes to accelerate progress and effect real, dynamic change. They each pledged “to do everything in our individual and collective power to end systemic racism and achieve equality and justice” in the marketing and advertising industries.
“As marketers and industry leaders, we commit to unflinchingly examine our own history and current practices to shine the light on systemic and institutional bias that exists within the industry,” the letter stated. “We can no longer accept the failings of many of our diversity and inclusion initiatives and commit to examine why they fail and what action is needed to advance. And we commit to interventions that will have an immediate and sustained impact on equality, inclusion, and systemic change in our ecosystem and in our society.”
The letter recommended several steps marketers can take to address diversity and inclusion:
- Institutionalize yearly diversity reports to the industry, and include clear actionable steps and guidelines to achieve leadership and functional parity. Extend the tracking to the balance of the industry.
- Conduct courageous conversations and work with Employee Resource Groups (ERG’s) to understand the systemic inequities throughout the industry to establish programs that can fix these systems.
- Increase spending in multicultural marketing so that the investment is commensurate with the representation of the multicultural consumer in society.
- Accelerate the use of AIMM’s #SeeALL campaign to eliminate bias through the accurate portrayal of race, identity, and culture in advertising and media programs.
- Demand the accuracy of multicultural and inclusive data from measurement service providers so that marketers can connect with key diverse audiences and attribute growth to the right people and segments.
- Hold ANA and AIMM members and the industry accountable by measuring all ads and programming with AIMM’s Cultural Insights Impact Measure (CIIM™).
- Achieve an equal and equitable creative supply chain through proportionate investment in agencies, broadcasters, suppliers and producers that are owned or run by Black, Hispanic, Asian, LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities.
- Double down on cross industry partnerships to enable a higher degree of engagement with and understanding of diverse communities.
The letter asks recipients to participate by adding their signatures to copies of the letter that appear on the ANA and AIMM websites (click here).
“The inequalities that exist in our nation are also, abundantly and unfortunately, readily apparent in our own industries,” said ANA CEO Bob Liodice. “The ANA and AIMM are fully committed to revisiting and revising our diversity and inclusion efforts and develop new plans that bring real, permanent, and long-overdue changes to the advertising and marketing sectors. We must move forward as an industry that embraces equality and gives all people—regardless of race, gender, identity, culture, ability, or age—the opportunity to reach their full potential. The time to act is now.”