Friday, August 21, 2009

7032: Musings On Scouting For Talent.

A recent post re-published a tribute to Caldera, the special initiative for underserved kids founded by Dan Wieden. MultiCultClassics cannot resist commenting on one particular excerpt from the piece:

So, how does this relate to advertising? To me, it seems that an entire generation is being given the opportunity and tools to express themselves in a creative, productive way. The skills that they can learn here can both directly and indirectly influence the industry because some of these talented people could, at some point, decide that the experience they had would be beneficial in advertising, marketing, branding and PR. I wouldn’t be surprised if, at some point, these kids become future students at Brandcenter, The Creative Circus or other advertising/portfolio schools. Additionally, this is a group that could, one at a time, add much needed diversity to the industry.

Yes, the diversity debate will go on and it would be wrong for me, as a white, middle-class guy to be cavalier about it. It’s also tough for me to even open my mouth about diversity lest I get “blogttacked.” I know that I can’t control what people think or say. And I can’t control the fact that I am white. But I do know that there is good work being done here for all the right reasons. What I saw in Central Oregon matters—what Caldera does matters.

For starters, the following musings are not intended to “blogttack” the author or anyone else. Indeed, everyone must continue to freely air opinions if there is true hope for progress.

Caldera is—without question or doubt—a wonderful, noble and awesome effort. Yet positioning it as a tool for diversity doesn’t seem right. First and foremost, Caldera appears to be exposing kids to inspirational and creative ways of self-expression. The mission statement says, “caldera is a catalyst for transformation through innovative art and environmental programs.” It’s inherently about positive social change versus providing career counseling or guidance towards Madison Avenue.

But that’s beside the point MultiCultClassics wishes to ponder. Specifically, why do some folks think recruiting minorities involves underserved communities? Of the minorities presently in the business, how many had rough childhoods that would qualify as underserved? The presumption is slightly akin to clients who initially believe targeting minorities means appealing to low-income audiences.

When seeking White talent, no one ever considers scouting trailer parks and the Appalachian Mountains for candidates.


perfectinmyimperfection said...

So true. So true!

Anonymous said...

Caldera is ok. Nothing great to brag about. nothing groundbreaking either. Just another youth outreach program. Almost every agency has youth programs and youth internships/outreach etc. Everybody wants to save these poor and disadvantaged kids, and expose them to inspirational and creative ways of self-expression, but nobody wants to hire mid and senior level minority creative with experience.-- amazing

The internships, programs and Diversity Boards maneuver is so old and is not working. Why the hell are the big agencies ripping off each other’s failed concepts? Why are there no specific efforts to specifically designed to address the industry’s diversity problem especially on the creative side of things?

For 20 years agencies have been using these repeating these lame schemes in order to deflect attention from hiring and the retention of minoritiy talent already in the market, and filling the mid to senior level talent void.

For those who think Dan wieden's controversial call-to-action was amazing think again. It just gives agencies just another excuse to throw more money down the "teach minorities/internship avenue" which has failed.

How about these agencies give insight on how they get and hire mid to senior level talent. Oh yeah I forgot they have none. So they cant give any insight. lol. The embrace youth outreach programs= just passing the blame. How many youth outreach programs do we need!!

The industry already has plenty of “already available Black talent" they they refuse to hire. All u have is White men hiring White men and everything stays the status quo regardless of how many "caldera's" you have. The only people that bear the brunt of their failure when it comes to diversity is minorities, and not dan wieden!

Promotional Products said...

You bring up some great points here. I think there is talent everywhere, it's just a matter of taking the time to root it out. You don't necessarily have to go to poorer neighborhoods, just get to know the people and the talent will present itself to you.