Omnicom’s Pledge: $1.25 Mil. for Diversity

NEW YORK Omnicom Group today said it has committed $1.25 million over five years to create the Omnicom Diversity Development Advisory Committee. Its mission is to attract minority talent to Omnicom-owned agencies.

H. Carl McCall has been named DDAC chair. “I am honored to serve the DDAC and look forward to working with committee members to identify and develop initiatives to improve diversity in the advertising industry,” he said in a statement.

John Wren, CEO of Omnicom, called the initiative an “unprecedented effort to enhance diversity in the advertising industry.”

An inaugural ceremony took place here today at City Hall. City Council speaker Christine Quinn and civil right committee chairman Larry Seabrook were also in attendance.

The DDAC consists of:

— McCall, a director of several public corporations, including Tyco International and Ariel Mutual Fund. He is also a former New York State comptroller and state senator.

— Darwin Davis Jr., president and CEO of the New York Urban League.

— R. Vann Graves, vp, associate creative director, BBDO.

— James Mtume, radio personality, two-time Grammy Award-winning producer.

— Maria Valentina Nunes, private consultant; former senior director of Interbrand, an Omnicom company.

— Sharon Robinson, director of educational programming, Major League Baseball; daughter of Jackie Robinson.

— MarySol Rodriguez, vp, government affairs, Partnership for New York City (a nonprofit membership organization comprised of a select group of 200 chief executive officers).

— Tom Watson, former Omnicom vice chairman and dean of Omnicom University.

The lack of minorities in the ad business has been a volatile issue, especially in New York, for the past several years. It spurred a 2006 investigation in which numerous agencies, including several owned by Omnicom, were issued subpoenas prior to the industry’s Advertising Day celebration. All of the companies agreed to make efforts to improve their minority recruitment records.