Burnett Points Out Racial Stereotyping

CHICAGO Leo Burnett encourages people to speak up when they see racial stereotyping in a new pro bono campaign for the Advertising Council and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

The new television spots show people in everyday situations where they see racial stereotyping. In one ad, a woman talking with her African-American co-worker in an elevator clutches her purse a bit more tightly when an African-American man gets on. Disturbed, the African-American woman confronts her colleague when they get off the elevator. “Imagine the power of one voice,” says actor Dennis Haysbert as the spot directs viewers to a Web site, freedomcenter.org.

A second spot shows an elderly storeowner suspiciously eying an African-American teenager. When he calls in his teenaged grandson to keep a closer eye on the boy, it’s revealed that the two are friends. A third spot shows a man getting upset at a Hispanic busboy because he thinks the employee does not speak English.