Nearly One-Third of Respondents Believe the Advertising Industry Does Not Welcome Diversity, According to BBH NY Beautiful Minds Survey

A survey of aspiring advertising planners and strategists finds that about a third (31 percent) believe the industry does not welcome diversity.

Moreover, when asked if they think advertising is more, equally or less welcoming than other industries, a large portion of respondents thought advertising was only on par with others (44 percent more welcoming, 42 percent equal and 13 percent less).

The survey was fielded to the 50 participants of the Griffin Farley’s Search for Beautiful Minds event, held annually by BBH NY to identify the best aspiring strategic talent in advertising. The attendees, ranging from ages 21 to 35 from all over the world, participated in a bootcamp held July 20-22, with the ending gala on Tuesday night, July 24 at BBH NY’s headquarters. Farley, a Strategy Director who was lost to cancer six years ago, was dedicated to mentoring young agency talent.

“The results come at a time when diversity, inclusion and sexual harassment issues are at the forefront across industries,” said Sarah Watson, Chairman, Global and NY Chief Strategy Officer at BBH NY. “These results show that the ad industry has a long way to go in terms of inclusion and diversity for these aspiring planners.  Yet, the answers also show that the new generation of talent wants to be involved in solving these very serious issues, and are enthusiastic about working in advertising.”

In fact, according to the survey, 91 percent said advertising was their No. 1 career choice.

Longer-form survey answers revealed a commitment to advancing inclusion and diversity in the industry, with one respondent saying, “I hope that someday I can be a mentor to other young women, and that my career can elevate the Queer experience in this industry.” And another said, “My goal is to integrate my activism into my work. I also aim to pave a path for other young professionals of color who may not have the connections/network to succeed in this industry.”

About the Event

“Griffin Farley was a planner we lost to cancer six years ago and we wanted to find a way to honor him,” said Sarah Watson, BBH NY Chairman and Global Chief Strategy Officer.  “Inspired by Griffin’s commitment to mentorship, our annual event, Griffin Farley’s Beautiful Minds, is dedicated to increasing opportunities for new talent and helping the industry to become a more diverse place.”




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