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Four A's makes commitment to diversity

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Naples, Fla.--Kicking off the American Association of Advertising Agencies Management Conference, Four A's President-CEO Burtch Drake called for ad agencies to invest in diversity, calling the current representation of multicultural employees within agencies "unacceptable." While the percentage of multicultural citizens in the U.S. is currently about 28%, according to figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, representation of multicultural employees at agencies has plateaued at 16.3%, according to a Four A's survey. "The current imbalance of multicultural representation [in agencies] undermines our ability to help our clients sell their products and services to this diverse group of the population," Drake said. He said the Four A's is embarking on two programs to foster diversity. First, it is calling on agencies to double the number of participants in the association's Multicultural Intern Program, which currently employs 100 interns at 47 member agencies. He called on agencies to double the number of multicultural interns it hires by next summer. Second, Drake said the Four A's is committed to raising $1 million in additional funds for its multicultural scholarship program, called "Operation Jumpstart," from a current level of $475,000. The Four A's has committed $500,000 over five years, and is seeking 20 agencies to commit $5,000 a year over five years to make up the balance.
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