The 4A’s Foundation, part of the 4A’s and dedicated to advocating for and improving diversity within the advertising and media agencies, has partnered with VMLY&R to launch “Dear Black Talent,” an initiative designed to empower the next generation of Black advertising leaders. “Dear Black Talent” is a recruitment platform geared toward attracting new talent into the industry, driving consideration for those returning to the industry, and elevating individuals seeking professional growth and development. The site opens new doors for careers in advertising and connects talent to agency partners who have a commitment to diversifying their talent pools.
After more than two years of remote work and living in a pandemic, many employees are questioning their careers in what is being dubbed “The Great Resignation.” A recent Microsoft survey found that more than 40% of workers globally were considering leaving their jobs in 2021. BIPOC employees specifically, feeling overworked and undervalued, were seeking a “better work environment,” according to a VMLY&R study on the advertising industry. This shows a great need for advertising agencies to engage with and inspire potential talent, develop BIPOC employees, and provide opportunities in a new and unique way.
By going beyond traditional recruitment strategies, the “Dear Black Talent'' site drives discovery about agency life, sheds light on other Black professionals’ journeys, and provides educational resources and networking opportunities. Users are welcomed to the site by a questionnaire encouraging them to discern how their skills can be used in advertising. On completion, they can learn more about roles or view and apply to a range of job listings provided by agency partners. The “Dear Black Talent” site enables talent of all backgrounds to access a network of peers and pursue first-to-market job opportunities across a number of leading agencies that have made a “Partner Pledge” to actively participate in diverse hiring practices.
“Dear Black Talent” is born from 365BLACKPRINT, a 4A’s Foundation program founded in 2021 to reimagine Black History Month as a year-long initiative to honor Black industry trailblazers, up-and-coming disruptors, and to create a blueprint of success for Black talent in advertising today.
“For many years, the 4A’s Foundation has served as a guiding force for developing next-generation talent,” said Stacey Abreu, projects and engagement director, 4A’s Foundation. “We are thrilled to partner with VMLY&R to launch ‘Dear Black Talent’ and leverage a platform specifically catered to supporting Black talent and connecting candidates to their future roles. This is what the first step of progress looks like.”
“Advertising is inherently subversive. It is designed to change minds and has the power to reshape culture, society, and what is considered common sense,” says Amber Chenevert, group director, strategy and insights, VMLY&R. “‘Dear Black Talent’ addresses Black talent directly and shows how agencies are making changes to ensure that their voices are listened to in the industry and beyond.”
Brooklyn based illustrator and designer, Sophia Yeshi, led creation of “Dear Black Talent” graphics displayed throughout the site. The initiative also includes a targeted social campaign to drive talent to the site, out-of-home promotional assets, and a series of promotional panels and events.
“Dear Black Talent” was funded by a number of partnering organizations and the 4A’s Foundation, with VMLY&R leading strategy, creative concepting, and site development. Other launch partner agencies include Group M, Yahoo, Partners + Napier, Kettle, Hill Holliday, Campbell Ewald, BBH USA, Leo Burnett Worldwide, Omnicom Health Group and Day One Agency.
To celebrate the launch, the 4A’s Foundation and VMLY&R will host a virtual event on Feb. 25, offering participants resources and networking opportunities to find their next career moves in advertising.
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About the 4A’s Foundation
Established in 1997, the 4A’s Foundation has been investing in education and providing financial support, primarily through scholarships, for future multicultural advertising and media executives. The 4A’s Foundation team discovers, develops, and delivers best-in-class diverse talent to the industry through pipeline programs, scholarships, grants, and training from the high school to professional level for all stages of one’s career. Our programs work to amplify and catalyze the voices and actions of multicultural talent to ensure we are fueling a more equitable future for the marketing industry. We directly impact the lives of over 4,000 professionals by providing the platform to launch and sustain their careers and offer a place for community to all multicultural talent.
VMLY&R is a global brand and customer experience agency that harnesses creativity, technology, and culture to create connected brands. Named a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Global Marketing Agencies for five consecutive years, VMLY&R is made up of more than 12,000 employees worldwide with principal offices in Kansas City, New York, Detroit, London, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney. The agency is behind award-winning campaigns for blue chip client partners including Colgate-Palmolive, Danone, Dell, Ford, Intel, New Balance, Pfizer and Wendy's. For more information, visit www.vmlyr.com. VMLY&R is a WPP company (NYSE: WPP).