The problem seems to be one belonging to black-owned agencies and black-owned media. Such large Hispanic agencies as Bromley, Aguilar; Mendoza, Dillon; Siboney; and Conill were acquired (by MacManus Group, WPP Group, True North Communications and Saatchi & Saatchi, respectively) years ago. But in the African-American community, said Caroline Jones, president of the agency that bears her name, some people think "if you're not all black, then you're all white." As Mr. Burrell himself put it, "We're still at a point where the symbolism of black ownership has value to [the black] community."
That value cannot be denied. And Messrs. Levy and Burrell came up with the solution -- common on Publicis' European turf -- of the former buying 49% of the latter, with Mr. Burrell and his key executives keeping 51%. In time, this may change; but it could very well be that control eventually shifts to other key African-American executives at the shop and not Publicis. But for now, this