NEW YORK: A recent agreement between several New York City advertising agencies — many of which are part of holding companies — and the NYC Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) to increase diversity does not currently extend to the holding companies' PR firms.
The agreement provides a framework for the hiring, retention, and promotion of minorities and calls for agencies in NYC to set yearly hiring goals. Agencies that have signed the agreement include Euro RSCG Worldwide, Grey Direct, Ogilvy & Mather, Saatchi & Saatchi, and Young & Rubicam.
Avery S. Mehlman, deputy commissioner in charge of the law enforcement bureau at CCHR, said there are no plans to include PR firms in the agreement in the near future.
"I think we're still working very hard on the advertising industry," he said. "I really haven't done an investigation in public relations in terms of diversity. Our focus…is on the ad industry."
In a separate agreement with NYC councilmember Larry Seabrook, chair of the Civil Rights Committee of the NYC Council, Omnicom Group has created the diversity development advisory committee. It will comprise Omnicom executives and HR personnel, as well as members appointed by the Civil Rights Committee. The first initiative will be to establish an advertising, marketing skills, and media industry readiness curriculum at Medgar Evers College.
Pat Sloan, spokeswoman for Omnicom, said that agreement would apply to all of the holding company's marketing agencies, including PR.