A group of agencies and brand marketers in Atlanta, Georgia—where all eyes are focused ahead of the state’s Senate runoff election next month—have taken a pledge to dismantle systemic racism within their businesses. Those that have signed the pledge—which involves a commitment to matching the diversity of their teams by 2030 to reflect Atlanta’s population, which is currently 62% people of color and 38% white—include agencies Nebo, Media Frenzy Global and Dragon Army as well as brands Mailchimp and Aflac.
As we know, they have a long way to go. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the ethnic makeup of the marketing industry in the U.S. is 86.1% white, 6.1% African American, 5.6% Asian American and 8.9% Hispanic American. The signatories of the pledge have also committed to forming an alliance that they say “will work together to tackle this difficult, prevalent issue.”
“While our city’s demographics will inevitably shift over time, the point of this pursuit is to acknowledge the disparity in the advertising and marketing industry—and, more importantly, to take real, measurable actions to correct it,” comments Dragon Army CEO Jeff Hilimire, who co-founded the pledge.
Shannon Watkins, senior VP of brand and creative services at Aflac, adds: “We must be willing to commit to actionable, measurable progress against ambitious and worthy goals.”
The Martin Agency replaces chief growth officer
Interpublic Group of Cos.’ The Martin Agency has made a series of promotions following Thursday’s announcement that its chief growth officer, Michael Chapman, left to become the chief marketing officer of CarLotz, a used car and consignment dealer. The agency promoted Taylor Grimes to executive VP and head of new business to pick up Chapman’s responsibilities. He was VP and group director of communications planning. Additionally, The Martin Agency appointed Head of Production Tasha Dean to its executive committee, taking the slot vacated by Chapman. The Martin Agency says Dean joining the executive committee “brings 50% BIPOC representation to the highest levels of leadership.” The agency credits Dean with helping to found Superjoy, its creative studio and content hub, in December 2019, and leading it to double in size since.
“This promotion is because of who Tasha is, not the department she represents,” The Martin Agency CEO Kristen Cavallo adds on Dean’s appointment. “As a producer, she’s honed her skill of turning ideas into reality. As a prolific accomplisher, she’s taken her skills far beyond production—building new revenue streams, ways of working and tools to make us self-sufficient.”