AMC, the evil geniuses behind “Mad Men” have a new ad-oriented show: “The Pitch.” While I haven’t seen it, I have a general understanding that it’s like every other competition show out there, only this one is centered in AdLand. Really, do we need another singing competition show? According to AdAge, tonight’s broadcast will feature the “White Space” spot created by and broadcast for Muse Communications, a multicultural marketing agency.
Ken Wheaton posted the commercial in this week’s The Big Tent column on AdAge.com. He describes “White Space” as:
[O]ne of the most succinct skewerings of the ad industry’s lack of diversity. Stripped of ass-covering, double-speak and overly PR-ed language typically used when the industry talks diversity, it gets right to the point.
The ad, spoken by an African American woman, has viewers thinking about the lack of diversity..everywhere. She notes the lack of any minority in television shows and, further, that people and agencies behind those shows and commercials are void of diversity as well. And not just “ethnic” diversity, Muse Communications Chairman and Chief Creative Officer Jo Muse points out.
I strongly believe that women agency executives will be critical to improving industry diversity. Currently, women account for 65-70% of all talent in the business. With more female leadership, they will shape the new face of advertising.
“They say it’s because they can’t find us,” the woman in the ad says. Well, we’re right here. Women who want to work. Unfortunately, this industry has the mindset that men are the power players. Look at “Mad Men.” Granted it’s from an era that had a hard time accepting women in the workforce in general, but not much has changed in the 60s, though smoking in office builds is now prohibited and drinking on the clock is frowned upon. But women are not a minority in the industry. We’re just silenced and in the background, it seems.
I can’t speak for every woman in the advertising industry, but it’s a tough nut to crack. There are some of us, however, that are willing to take that challenge and see just how far we can propel ourselves, our careers, and advertising as a whole. If you’d just give us a chance.