By: JOSEPH OSULA
Advertising has evolved from where it used to be in the 50s or 60s, however we in the advertising industry need to realize that even though we have made great strides from where we where, the is still a lot work and progress that needs to be reached. During the (Mad Men) era the Advertising industry was controlled by old white men, which made most of the decisions that was made at this time fit a certain narrow perspective. Therefore when we look back at the types of Advertising campaigns that have been run during this time even to recent decades we find out why they might be offensive and hidebound to a large section of different minority groups in the country or world. As a result of this the advertising industry has tried to learn from most of the mistakes that have been made over the years by making sure different perspectives are sought out before running a campaign or advert. However we know for a fact that although we have gotten better over time we still are making costly mistakes and I firmly believe the best way to solve this problem will be to have a drastic turn around in the hiring practices in the Advertising industry. For example when we look at the data that compares the diversity in America versus the Advertising industry we see that there is a great disparity in gender, age, race, religion, disability or ethnicity. Therefore I think if the Advertising industry decided to change it hiring practices and reflect the population it was actually serving, this would drastically improve the ideas we come up with for campaigns, leading to better consumption to the public.
Moreover when we talk about diversity most people instantaneously think race, however this is not the case, diversity goes much larger than race. As a matter of fact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released their finding in 2015 it was recorded that 53 million adults in the US live with disability which
is about 17% of our population. However we would never
guess this is the case if we looked at the Advertising industry. This is a perfect example of why we might see a campaign out there in today’s day and age that might be offensive to the disabled, women and other minorities. I definitely realize that we can’t make even body happy or be invisible to indecent to the entire public. Nonetheless we should strive to be better at out profession and have better ideas that will produce higher quality content, which will end up benefiting the Advertising industry all through better diversity through hiring.