Today, four Atlanta advertising agencies—22squared, Fitzgerald & Co., Moxie and J. Walter Thompson—unveiled Advertising for Change: a coalition committed to Diversity & Inclusion as a means for better business, new talent and establishing Atlanta as the city for diverse advertising professionals.
“We have as much responsibility to reflect our community as we do our clients’ brands and our own bottom lines,” said Spence Kramer, CEO, J. Walter Thompson Atlanta. “Atlanta is one of the most diverse cities in the world, so it’s incumbent on us to attract and retain the best talent for the city. This isn’t about ‘making a number’ or reaching a goal. It’s about doing what’s best for our business.”
Advertising for Change also announced today a first-of-its-kind, joint internship program that looks to showcase the collective strength of the Atlanta advertising community to young talent. While each of the 10 AFC interns will be assigned to a primary agency, they will rotate weekly meetings across all companies, gaining exposure to workplace processes and culture of four agencies instead of one.
“Advertising for Change worked with the 4A’s Multicultural Advertising Intern Program [MAIP] to select talented interns from across the country interested in seeing what Atlanta has to offer,” said Solange Claudio, President, Moxie. “As a native New Yorker, I was excited to discover how vibrant Atlanta is. This city is at the intersection of a vast array of industries, arts, culture, creativity and technology—and is becoming a notable and powerful city that is prominently positioned to be the next hub for careers in advertising and marketing.”
In addition to daily responsibilities, the interns will be split into two teams that will meet weekly to develop a pitch for an Atlanta-based nonprofit of their choice. The two teams will pitch against each other in a showdown at the end of the summer. One standout intern will receive a job offer from all four AFC agencies and will choose his or her favorite.
“It’s a unique opportunity. Each agency will agree on the recipient and extend the intern the same offer,” said Liza Ramos, Chief Talent Officer, Fitzgerald & Co. “This empowers the AFC Scholar to pick the agency he or she wants to work with, and it upholds our goal of attracting and retaining the best diverse talent in the city of Atlanta — even if the choice is a friendly competitor.”
Future AFC initiatives include affordable advertising courses and portfolio boot camps to help creative, innovative professionals transition to a career in the advertising industry.
“The state of diversity in advertising has been less than satisfactory for a very, very long time,” said Singleton Beato, 4A’s EVP, Diversity & Inclusion Strategy and Talent Development. “The AFC coalition is an outstanding example of how, by working together, our agencies can help drive the entire industry toward the type of change that can break down the systemic challenges of our past. When we collaborate to achieve a common goal, like building and maintaining an authentically inclusive workforce, the potential to maximize creativity and innovation in the agency culture, and the work we produce for clients, becomes limitless.”