“We are aware of the various comments on social media related to the name Rosapark and we would like to assure you we are taking them very seriously,” Fichteberg, Sacco and Chiquiar said in a collective statement to Ad Age. “We are sincerely sorry if the name of our agency, which we chose eight years ago, has caused any offense. In the current climate and in light of recent world events, we fully understand why.”
Fichteberg, Sacco and Chiquiar continued, “We would like to reassure you that we are particularly sensitive to the issue of diversity in our industry. One of our agency’s Co-Founders was elected President of the AACC's Advertising Delegation and has put diversity at the heart of his program, which aims to profoundly transform our industry in this area. In light of the above we will be rethinking the name of our agency. Please rest assured that we are fully committed to this subject.”
In response to this news, Young tells Ad Age, “We are pleased to see that they are considering changing their name. We would urge them to also consider changing their practices using our open letter as a guide.”
“It's easy to look at this example and click our teeth at how egregious this incident was, but it is important not to lose sight of the fact that incidents like this happen all the time because people of color have been systematically excluded from key conversations at advertising agencies around the world,” Young adds. “600 & Rising isn't fighting to change the name of a single poorly named agency in Paris. We are fighting to create a future where there are enough Black employees in agency leadership positions that insensitive incidents like this never happen in the first place.”
The controversy gained momentum on Twitter after Louis Duroulle, a “directeur conseil” at Havas Paris, then retweeted Young's initial post with the comment, “Major fight but wrong way in one tweet.” That tweet has since been deleted but it led to a back and forth between Young and Duroulle, with other Twitter users also joining in to criticize Duroulle, a white man, for imposing his thoughts on the issue.