An Advertising Industry Letter for Diversity, Equity, and InclusionJoin Us!

It has been 241 days since the death of George Floyd.

241 days since the injustice of one man’s senseless death has ignited the greatest global social movement we have seen in our lifetimes. His death, and countless others, revealed to the world the utter depth and breadth of systemic racism – galvanizing people of all creeds to collectively start the work of dismantling it. Even more, news of more senseless violence against Black people, and stark examples of unequal treatment, demonstrate the cyclical and perpetual severity of these problems. These inequalities and deeply-rooted biases permeate and affect our communities and various industries of work – and unfortunately, the advertising industry is not exempt.

And for the past 241 days, those of us in Disney Advertising Sales have undergone our own personal reckoning and reawakening, as we’ve become more aware of how systemic racism impacts us all. While some progress has been made in the past, we need to dig deeper and build upon our past efforts to create new habits, a new culture, and a new system of inclusion.

In order to begin the necessary work to achieve this vision, as an organization, our first step was to listen – hearing stories and experiences from our Black colleagues, holding spaces to have honest conversations, and embracing the discomfort of hearing hard truths. This was instrumental in shaping our vision and identifying our avenues of action.

We have established inclusive committees comprised of 70 volunteers – from assistant to president – focused on a culture of inclusion through listening and education; developing our existing diverse talent; enhancing our hiring practices; and reshaping how we positively work together with and influence our industry as a whole.

While we have been focused these past months on change within our organization, we see the opportunity to be a part of the change within our industry as well. And we recognize that in order to truly make a lasting impact in this work, we cannot do this alone. A change in any system cannot happen without the intentional efforts of all those who are actively involved. For our industry, this includes us and this includes you, agencies, brands, publishers, and associations to all be part of building a new system.

We are inviting all in our advertising community to join us on this path of accountability in creating an industry that actively hears and elevates diverse voices. In practice, we will:

  • Ensure industry panel discussions and events are inclusive of diverse talent and topics of conversation.
  • Define best practices for recruiting and development that enable diverse talent to move and shift within the industry.
  • Be more transparent on our progress and work together to establish strategy, analysis, accountability, and metrics on diversity and inclusion efforts.

Thank you to AdColor, dentsu, Horizon, MediaVillage, Omnicom, Publicis and Translation for joining us on this journey and for your commitment to advancing our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) efforts. Together through awareness, commitment, and ownership, we can lead by example in the short- and long-term.

Our industry is a tight-knit network of talent. When we are allies in the pursuit of DE&I efforts, we have the opportunity to create an industry that elevates voices of differing backgrounds and viewpoints in an impactful way. We are better when people at all levels reflect the varied life experiences of our audiences, customers, and communities. To our prospective allies, we would love to hear from you on how we can take this journey together and what you are doing to bring about real change in your inclusion efforts. Disney Advertising Sales is here, and we’re ready to work with you now in this fight for a better tomorrow.

Please email your main point of contact from our Disney Advertising Sales Team or Contact Us at DAS-Diversity@disney.com to start the conversation.

The Employees of Disney Advertising Sales, with Rita Ferro

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