Editorial: Ad Agencies Should Consider NFL's Rooney Rule

Trying Simple Idea Likely Better Than More Talk -- or a Lawsuit

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As the ad industry tries to recover from yet more embarrassing diversity-related publicity, it's becoming increasingly clear the time for "dialogue" is over. It may be time for advertising to try its own version of the Rooney Rule.

The Rooney Rule, for those not obsessed with the National Football League, was the solution arrived at to solve one of the league's big issues: Despite hundreds of black players, there were few black coaches. After Johnnie Cochran and Cyrus Mehri published a study and threatened a lawsuit (sound familiar?), the league and the lawyers settled on the Rooney Rule, which stipulated that for every opening for a coaching position, at least one qualified African-American candidate had to be interviewed. The rule seemed too simple to work. But it has. (READ MORE)

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