Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide hired Jason Rosario—the executive producer and host of Yahoo! News web series "Dear Men," which examines toxic masculinity in a post-MeToo world—as chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer. A BBDO spokesperson confirmed to Ad Age that this is the first time anyone within the agency has been appointed to a C-suite DE&I role.
Rosario, who is set to join on Sept. 8, will be based in New York and report to BBDO Worldwide President-CEO Andrew Robertson. His responsibilities will include partnering with senior leadership to "impact agency diversity policy and plans, recruitment, retention, training, education and leverage the network's work to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in the network, industry and society at large," according to BBDO.
Rosario tells Ad Age that the role particularly interested him because, unlike most other DE&I positions within agencies—which he says are largely only functions of human resources departments—he will be working across all disciplines of the BBDO network to advance DE&I efforts.
"Diversity is the lifeblood of this industry," Rosario says. "It says a lot for a tried-and-true agency, and surely for an iconic agency like BBDO, to bring someone like myself on. What excited me most [about the job] is this is an enterprise-wide role. This role partners with creative, learning and development, recruitment, retention ... every aspect of the agency."
With this role, Rosario says there is a real "opportunity for BBDO to do diversity work differently ... Let's be honest, there has been a certain level of performance in this industry. What excited me most in my conversations with [the BBDO leadership team] is they are aware there is room for growth," he says.