Letters, April 5, 2010

Published on .

One Club not cutting back on diversity efforts

RE: "Too Few Diversity Dollars on Mad Avenue" (AA, March 29)

I am writing in response to Ad Age's recent article on diversity in the advertising community. Your article implies that our organization, The One Club, has ceased all diversity programming. While it is true that our program "Adversity" was discontinued late last year, it does not mean that The One Club has discontinued all diversity-outreach efforts. On the contrary, The One Club has grown our diversity outreach and programming to promote diversity across all creative fields in the industry.

This past January, we introduced a new generation to the many opportunities in the worlds of advertising and design when we launched "Creative Boot Camp" at CUNY Macaulay Honors College here in New York. Students from local universities and community colleges attended a four-day workshop led by creative directors and designers from around the U.S., to introduce students to the art of creating advertising for clients from initial concepting through to the final pitch. Workshops were lead by some of the industry's top names including: Joe Duffy, Kash Sree, Dave Holloway, Francois Grouiller (GSP), Stuart Brown (GSP), Niklas Lilja (GSP), Shameka Brown Barbosa ( Y&R), Joanna Jenkins (Global Hue) and Joseph Duffy (Duffy & Partners).

We provided each of the Creative Bootcamp students with a complimentary one-year membership to the One Club. This keeps them connected to the industry through free admittance to One Club events, access to our members-only portfolio reviews, discounted ticket prices to our award shows, free copies of the One Show Annuals and a subscription to our industry publication One.A.magazine.

The top five students have been offered the opportunity to compete for an exclusive internship at Global Hue. They were all also given tickets to attend the 2010 One Show Awards Ceremony.

We're in the midst of planning Diversity Boot Camp programs in Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles and second one in New York.

Prior to the boot-camp program, The One Club attended career fairs at Brooklyn College, Kingsborough Community College and Hunter College, where we hosted two separate panels with creatives from agencies such as McCann, Y&R, Global Hue, Wieden & Kennedy and Uniworld. These sessions provided the attending CUNY students, who had creative skills but had not thought about advertising as a career path, with insight and information on what a career in advertising looks like and how to get started. It also provided an open forum for them to mix and mingle with top creatives from New York advertising agencies and ask them any questions they had about the current state of the advertising industry.

We pride ourselves and constantly challenge ourselves on how best to reach young students and professionals of all backgrounds and skill levels. It is our goal to promote the creative fields not only within our own community, but across all fields. We could not agree more with Nancy Hill's comments in the story -- we are simply not just "throwing more money at diversity" programs – we are making coordinated efforts to work directly with young people from diverse backgrounds.

Editor's note: Ad Age in no way implied that The One Club is ceasing diversity activities. From the original story: "One Club President Kevin Swanepoel attributes that split to tough economic times, though he says other diversity programs are under way."

Another approach to diversity

RE: "Too Few Diversity Dollars on Mad Avenue" (AA, March 29)

I don't need to be mentored. In fact, I can learn on my own if given the opportunity. My degree in advertising says I am more than qualified for an entry-level position. Yet I cannot even get an interview with an ad agency. Maybe candidates of color should change their names to reflect the white majority -- Either that, or remove names from résumés. I am sure we would be surprised at the result.

'Drinkability' not the problem

RE: "A-B's Big Blunder: Letting Consultants Steer the Brand" (AA, March 15)

The core problem with the "Drinkability" campaign is that it begins with a lie. Bud Light Fizzy Rice Water really isn't drinkable, at least by anyone who actually enjoys the taste of hops.

Nobody who likes beer would compliment a beer by saying "Eh, it's drinkable." That's the kind of thing you say in college, when you only have $6 for a case of Natty Boh or Keystone. So who is the target here? People who don't really like beer, but don't want to look unmanly by drinking Coke Zero?

As the man said: Stay thirsty, my friends. And quench that thirst with beer. Real beer.


RE: "Web's big boost to magazines? Selling print subscriptions" (AA, March 29). The subscriptions service from Time Inc. that works like a Netflix for magazines is called Maghound, not Newshound.

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