McCann in Push for Diversity

NEW YORK McCann Erickson said it is making a concerted effort to ethnically diversify its workforce and has named three executives to further advance the initiative.

Sallie Mars, director of creative services, will add the title director of diversity. The agency also hired Toni Thompson as multicultural program developer and recruiter. She joins from the New York office of research firm Millward Brown. David Hamlin comes aboard as manager of supplier diversity. He had been executive director of procurement at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

All three are new positions at the New York-based Interpublic Group agency.

Brett Gosper, president of McCann’s U.S. operations, said the team would “reach beyond the usual sources for minority candidates, and help ensure that McCann meets the needs and expectations of those we recruit.”

The move comes amid pressure for heightened diversity throughout the agency business.

In September, 16 agencies signed binding agreements with New York City’s Human Rights Commission to increase the number of minorities in their management ranks. The agreements commit the agencies to establishing diversity hiring goals for Minorities over a three-year period, which include advancing them to higher ranks.

Each year, the shops must report their progress in writing to the HRC.

Failure to meet the goals could result in further action and fines up to $250,000.

Mars is a nine-year McCann veteran who manages print and broadcast production services in the creative department in New York.

As chairman of the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ diversity committee, Mars and her peers have bolstered the ranks of the multicultural advertising intern program from 45 to more than 100 nationwide.

Thompson has worked as an account planner at IPG’s Campbell Mithun in Minneapolis.

Hamlin has spent most of his career in academe. Before Rutgers, he was director of purchasing management for Carnegie Mellon University, from which he also graduated. In his McCann role, he will ensure that companies owned by non-white owners will get an equal chance at bidding on goods and services provided to McCann.

McCann Erickson is a division of McCann Worldgroup whose sibling companies include Momentum and MRM. Its client roster includes Coca-Cola, GM, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, L’Oreal, MasterCard, Microsoft and Unilever.