Wieden+Kennedy, 72andSunny, R/GA among the 30-plus agencies to join 600 & Rising's 'Commit to Change' campaign
600&Rising, the nonprofit established by hundreds of Black ad execs yesterday, today debuts its first campaign, "Commit to Change," with the backing of more than 30 agencies across the U.S. It’s an effort to normalize transparency on diversity data in the industry in the hopes of making it more diverse and equitable.
Among the “First Day” agencies are Wieden+Kennedy, 72andSunny, R/GA, BarrettSF, Giant Spoon, Noble People, Preacher, Periscope, O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul, Observatory and Zambezi (see full list below). All of them have committed to releasing their own diversity data that adheres to a standard established by 600 & Rising, based on recommendations from leading diversity, equity and inclusion experts.
The participating agencies all agreed to respond to an open brief the 300 & Rising founders sent out to the industry on Monday. It asks agencies to provide a detailed accounting of diversity at their companies, broken out across gender, ethnicity and seniority level; and to share that data publicly alongside a unique expression of their commitment to the campaign. Agencies should “create at least one social post and utilize the hashtag #CommitToChange,” the brief reads. “This social post does not necessarily need to include the data itself, but it should link to the post with the data and your commitment statement.”
R/GA was one of the first to come out with its data in a Medium post. Among the stats the agency shared showed that the majority of employees, 64 percent, are white, while 36 percent are persons of color. Seven percent of staff are Black. The junior level rank shows the largest percentage of Black employees at 11.2 percent, while senior leadership has the smallest, at 3.5 percent. The agency's stats also show how hiring had changed in 2019. Whie 60 percent of its new hires were female, above its population average, 35 percent of hires were POC, slightly below the agency's population average.
“This campaign is the first step on a long march toward justice,” said Nathan Young, president of 600 & Rising and group strategy director at Periscope in a statement. “We applaud all of the agencies who have made a public commitment to change and taken this important and symbolic first step with our members.” Achieving data transparency has been key to 600 & Rising's mission, as the organization says it's a crucial tool in holding the industry accountable on its racial equity commitments.
“We know what we have to do. And we are going to bring you in on all of it,” said a Wieden+Kennedy representative in a statement, “The wins, the fails. There will be missteps, but this is the time for exponential change. Not small steps. No excuses.”
The brief remains open and 600 & Rising encourages other agencies to join in. Here is the current list:
Camp + King
Copacino + Fujikado
O'Keefe Reinhard & Paul
Observatory (Formerly CAA
Red & Co
The Martin Agency
The Social Lights