WARC, Cannes Lions, ANA Educational Foundation, the 4A’s Foundation and ARF partner with HBCU Business Deans Roundtable to bring industry knowledge to future Black marketers

 WARC and its sister company Cannes Lions – along with the Association of National Advertisers Educational Foundation (AEF), the 4A’s Foundation and the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) – have teamed up to bring industry knowledge to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The partnership with the HBCU Business Deans Roundtable will ensure that future Black marketers have the best content available on marketing creativity and effectiveness.

Students from 100+ HBCUs across the US will now have access to world-class content from the WARC and Cannes Lions’ The Work platforms, providing them with the tools and insights to help further their education in marketing. This commitment by WARC and Cannes Lions, worth over $1m per annum, is given to HBCUs free of charge.

Paul Coxhill, Managing Director, WARC & Lions Intelligence, commented: “We have been actively looking at how best to respond to the Black Lives Matter movement, in a thoughtful, long-term manner that links to why WARC and LIONS exist – to drive excellence in marketing effectiveness and creativity. We are delighted to offer the WARC and The Work platforms to HBCUs as resources to help educate and nurture Black marketers of tomorrow.

“Without diversity in the industry, how can we possibly understand our end markets and, in turn, deliver creatively relevant and effective marketing? It’s our duty to act from both an industry and moral standpoint to help advance diversity and inclusion in our industry.”

Van B. Sapp, Dean, Saint Augustine’s University School of Business, Management, and Technology and President, HBCU Business Deans Roundtable, said: “This partnership will provide HBCUs with practical educational tools to assist in enhancing our marketing programs. Our curriculum today requires business case studies and other current marketplace resources for student success. It is my hope that this initiative and others will help improve the access of our students to marketing careers across the industry.”

WARC, the global authority on marketing effectiveness, serves a community of over 75,000 marketers in more than 1,200 companies in 100+ markets offering more than 100,000 pieces of content on effective marketing (including case studies, best practice guides, research papers, special reports, advertising trend data). The Work, powered by Cannes Lions, the home of creative thinking, hosts over 200,000 creatively-inspired campaigns from around the world.

The AEF, the 4A’s Foundation and the ARF will help guide all parties in working together to develop useful and practical contributions to the curriculum of the marketing students at HBCUs.

Simon Fenwick, Executive Vice President, Talent, Equity & Inclusion for the 4A’s, said: “This partnership will provide students with the tools and support they need to further prepare for entering the marketing and advertising industry today. It is through partnerships like these that we will transform our industry and build teams that truly represent the societies we serve.”

Gord McLean, President and CEO, AEF, commented: “This is a long term, sustained commitment to bring the most current industry insight, creativity and innovation to campus. This knowledge can only help to inspire talented HBCU students to choose careers in our industry and to become our marketers and agency leaders of tomorrow.” 

Scott McDonald, President and CEO of the ARF, added: “Research has shown that more diverse companies do a better job of understanding and communicating with their diverse customers and stakeholders.  Yet most companies still fall short on measures of employee diversity, especially at higher echelons of management.  This partnership can help to change that over the long term and can open doors of opportunity for HBCU students almost immediately.”

The partnership comes into immediate effect to coincide with the new academic year.

In response to the Black Lives Matter movement, WARC has so far:

  • Launched a BLM / Brand Activism content hub

  • Created five WARC Commitments to Racial Equality

  • Will release this month the WARC Guide to Brand Activism in the BLM Era

  • Have a long-term commitment to feature new voices on all topics, and to cover BLM and its impact on marketing in WARC’s content and other future reports

  • Will partner with Black Cultural Archives (BCA) in the UK to produce a series of filmed interviews on the history of Black marketers, to be released during UK’s Black History month (October) 

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