“Black people are not dark-skinned white people.” Jay-Z could get behind that statement. It could be the mantra for his new agency with Steve Stoute.
That’s a phrase coined by Thomas J. Burrell who was inducted into the Advertising Hall Of Fame in 2004 when he stepped down from running his namesake agency. Thomas set out to create an advertising firm that took on big business’ idea of black culture. Burrell, started out his career in the mailroom of Chicagoâ€™s Wade Advertising and made his way up the ladder. He then bounced to Leo Burnett, Foote, Cone & Beldingâ€™s Londonâ€™s office and finally, Needham, Harper & Steers. In 1971, he formed Burrell Communications that now held such clients as McDonalds, Jack Danielâ€™s, and Coca-Cola. In June 1997, Burrell got Publicis S.A. to a 49 percent stake in his shop.
You can watch Burrell’s highlight reel here.