Transparency may have taken a back seat on this diversity drive
When we embarked on the first MM&M/Publicis Health Diversity Survey, we thought the biggest challenge would be finding the right survey takers.
Granted, this is a sensitive topic. Yet, we expected more, especially at a time when discussions about diversity and inequality in the ad industry are at a high due to infamous instances such as the Pepsi ad that was pulled last year and, in a broader sense, due to the #MeToo and now Times Up movements that have exposed and, in the case of Times Up, sought to counter through legal means, workplace sexual harassment.
We put safeguards in place, like guaranteeing respondents' anonymity and confidentiality. We offered incentives. We appealed in numerous ways. In the end, it seems that on this diversity drive, transparency may have taken a back seat.
What can we do to make agencies feel more comfortable divulging their diversity data? If you have a suggestion, please let me know at marc.iskowitz@haymarketmedia (privately) and @Marc_Iskowitz (publically). Knowing the full scope of the problem, we believe, can help bring much-needed change in this area.