Dentsu’s DAN reveals ‘Black Lives Matter’ racial numbers

Dentsu Aegis Network has followed Interpublic by revealing (although it probably didn’t intend to do so publicly) its US racial mix and it makes pretty depressing reading.

Black employees made up just 1.8% of executives, 2.5% of management and 6.9% of professionals. 83.4% of executives, 81.5% of management and 71.6% of professionals are white. Asian Americans represent 7.1% of executives, 9.2% of management and 11.5% of professionals. Latinx employees comprise 3.6% of executives, 5.1% of management and 7.2% of professionals.

DAN Americas CEO Jacki Kelley said in a memo leaked to Agency Spy: “We realize just striving for inclusivity isn’t enough to achieve meaningful change, we must also be actively anti-racist.” Kelley She said that the network had an obligation to examine its practices and behaviour and “create sustainable equity for our Black, Hispanic, LatinX and other underrepresented colleagues.”

Quite a challenge for Kelley and soon-to-arrive global boss Wendy Clark. That DAN is owned by Japan’s Dentsu probably makes the numbers even more embarrassing.

DAN has a range of businesses but its roots are in the Aegis bit, notably media agency Carat. It also owns Mcgarrybowen and performance marketing agency Merkle among others.

It would be interesting to know how these numbers for minorities differ (or not) between creative agencies, media agencies and others. I suspect they’re even worse in media agencies, long the home territory of laddish traders, although many of the higher management these days are women.

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.