Ogilvy Hatches Diversity Panel

NEW YORK Ogilvy & Mather, one of the ad agencies under pressure from the New York City Human Rights Commission to increase the percentage of minorities in its ranks, has created a diversity advisory board to help meet the commission’s goals.

The seven-person board is led by Ogilvy North American co-CEO Bill Gray and includes Jay Hershenson, vice chancellor for university relations at the City University of New York; Bonnie Wong, president of Asian Women in Business; and Ogilvy New York managing director Andy Berndt.

The other members are Warner Music Group evp Kevin Liles, NBC News vp of talent development Elena Nachmanoff and Natatia Griffith, president of the New York Coalition of One Hundred Black Women.

The board will meet regularly to provide “objective and experienced insight and assistance in helping Ogilvy treat diversity and inclusion from the widest possible perspective,” the WPP Group agency said.

Ogilvy is among 16 agencies that pledged in September to meet a series of diversity goals in the next three years, as put forth by the Human Rights Commission. The agencies, which also include Interpublic Group’s McCann Erickson, Omnicom Group’s DDB, Havas’ Euro RSCG and Publicis Groupe’s
Saatchi & Saatchi, signed agreements that spell out, among other things, minority hiring and promotion targets for each year.

“We are in an important moment in our industry’s future and know that diversity and inclusion are at the absolute center of how we will succeed,” said Gray, in a statement. “The guidance of this board is key to making our goals a reality.”

Said Hershenson: “I am personally looking forward to contributing ideas about how Ogilvy can build on its already strong academic relationships with the addition of CUNY and our students.”

Last month, McCann named director of creative services Sallie Mars to the additional role of director of diversity and hired two other executives to help manage the effort: Toni Thompson, who joined as multicultural program developer and recruiter, and David Hamlin, who became manager of supplier diversity.