Four Atlanta agencies have united to form the Advertising for Change coalition to promote diversity in their hometown.
JWT Atlanta, 22squared, Fitzgerald & Co. and Moxie make up the coalition, which launched today and promotes inclusion both as a better business practice and a way to help Atlanta stand apart as a destination for advertising talent.
“We have as much responsibility to reflect our community as we do our clients’ brands and our own bottom lines,” JWT Atlanta CEO Spence Kramer said in a statement. “Atlanta is one of the most diverse cities in the world, so it’s incumbent on us to attract and retain the best talent for the city. This isn’t about ‘making a number or reaching a goal. It’s about doing what’s best for our business.”
22squared evp and chief client officer Brandon Murphy said that diversity “enables more dynamic perspectives, which lead to better creativity and more innovative work,” calling it “important to our success and the success of all agencies in Atlanta.”
For its first initiative, Advertising for Change collaborated with the 4A’s Multicultural Advertising Intern Program, or MAIP, to promote the Atlanta advertising community to young talent. Each of 10 interns will be assigned to one of the four agencies and then rotate weekly meetings with the other three agencies, exposing them to several different agency cultures instead of just one.
“Advertising for Change worked with [MAIP] to select talented interns from across the country interested in seeing what Atlanta has to offer,” said Moxie president Solange Claudio.
In addition to daily responsibilities at their respective agencies, interns will split into two teams to craft a pitch for the Atlanta-based nonprofit of their choice. At the end of the summer, the two teams will face off and pitch against each other. At the conclusion of the program, one intern will receive competing job offers from all four AFC agencies.
“It’s a unique opportunity,” Fitzgerald & Co. chief talent officer Liza Ramos said. “Each agency will agree on the recipient and extend the intern the same offer. This empowers the AFC Scholar to pick the agency he or she wants to work with, and it upholds our goal of attracting and retaining the best diverse talent in the city of Atlanta—even if the choice is a friendly competitor.”
Planned initiatives from the Advertising for Change coalition include something it calls “portfolio boot camps” and affordable advertising courses designed to help creative professionals transition into advertising careers.
“The state of diversity in advertising has been less than satisfactory for a very, very long time,” said Singleton Beato, 4A’s executive vice president, diversity and inclusion strategy and talent development. “The AFC coalition is an outstanding example of how, by working together, our agencies can help drive the entire industry toward the type of change that can break down the systemic challenges of our past.”