Like the legendary DJ Deadmau5, our anonymous advertiser Adnonamau5 dons a mask to perform. This issue he dropped by the Rockstar CMO penthouse and laughs – Diversity in the ad-land? Nah – we’re quite alwight, old chum.

In this awesome issue of Rockstar CMO, the Green Room question is about diversity. In the advertising world, seriously?? I laughed so much I almost crapped myself.

I’ve been in the ad world for quite a while now and what I can say about the industry, especially in the UK, is it’s the whitest of white and about as diverse as a neo-Nazi rally! Too harsh? Maybe, but not that far from the truth.

First, let’s look at racial mix. In my experience in the UK it’s 99.99999% white. It’s so uniform a Six Sigma project would hold it up as a success. OK, that may be a little bit of a lie, but let me point you in the direction of an article posted at the start of this year by Campaign magazine.

In the UK the population of the C-suite in 2018 that was classed as white was 94.5% (ok not quite the 99.99999% I suggested but close), heads of department 90.6%, other staff 90.2%, and so on.

It’s incredible – especially given that the United Kingdom has been a racially diverse country for a hell of a long time (not forgetting the Empire it once controlled).

But it’s not all about race. What about gender? Well the survey says… to Brucey … at the C-suite it’s still two-thirds male and one-third female. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but haven’t women, like, been around for a while?! Why the hell is this so imbalanced? And that goes for salaries too… I don’t get it.

It’s no surprise that the BAME community is so underrepresented in advertising “…just 7% of ads positioned people from the BAME community as the sole, or main protagonist.” The Drum

But you know what, it’s what I always thought, the ad industry is an old school tie network for the boys club and for men not clever enough to get a proper job, and yes that includes me.

Ready to rock?

Fancy a chat about this? Or maybe we can help with our advisory services or get in touch!


Join hundreds of your peers and get your weekly fix of marketing street knowledge from the Rockstar CMO community.

Share this article