A recent study has concluded that racial discrimination is 38% worse in the advertising industry than in the overall labor market. In light of the fact that the advertising industry is traditionally perceived to be based in New York City, cases against advertising agencies alleging racial discrimination will undoubtedly increase in New York state and federal courts.
Although great strides have been made in other industries, it appears that the advertising industry lags far behind. In addition to finding that African American college graduates earn $.80 for every dollar earned by equally qualified Caucasians, the study concluded that closing the racial gap in management would require the industry to triple its African American managers and professionals.
Angela Ciccolo, interim general counsel of the NAACP commented that “the time has come to stand up to change this industry.” The study found that the problem was not attributable to a shortage of talent, but rather to a “persistent unwillingness by mainstream advertising agencies to hire, assign, advance and retain already-available Black talent.”
The study, which is entitled, Research Perspectives on Race and Employment in the Advertising Industry, was undertaken by Bendick and Egan Economic Consultants.