Creative agency Raxo launches diversity platform Ad+d Culture
Recognizing the need for equity in the historically white male world of advertising, New York-based creative shop Raxo has launched Ad+d Culture, a platform to uplift minority-owned ad agencies and encourage diversity of race, gender and sexual orientation in the industry.
Through next year, Ad+d Culture and its online portal will serve to motivate some of ad land’s major players to diversify with actions, not just words—for example, asking a brand to dedicate a portion of its marketing budget to a POC-run creative agency.
“It’s time to really look at minorities in advertising as an advantage. We want to empower agencies that are diverse because it’s authentically part of their culture and not just a trend,” says Raxo’s co-founder and managing partner Marla Gonzalez.
The crux of Ad+d Culture’s philosophy is simple: When your agency is not diverse, how can you really speak to a diverse audience?
“Not only are we calling out the ad industry as a whole, we are also calling upon the companies hiring them to step up, review internal selection processes, and take action,” the company says in a statement.
To facilitate that shift, Ad+d Culture is working to connect minority-owned agencies with potential clients by letting brands upload vetted proposal requests directly via its portal. Companies that pledge budgets toward the platform’s featured agencies or offer RFP opportunities will “receive recognition and coverage as industry changemakers” on its website, Ad+d Culture says.
The platform will continue to roll out new initiatives in the new year, including an in-development “incubator program” for small POC-run creative shops and a podcast series dedicated to examining diversity within the advertising industry.
According to Porter Novelli’s 2020 Executive Purpose Study, which was published in September, 76% of corporate executives acknowledge the role of business in perpetuating systemic inequality while nearly three-quarters believe it is a company’s role to address social injustice.