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Race Discrimination in the Advertising Industry

The US advertising industry, with advertising revenue well over $30 billion a year is economically viable. However, economically viable, the industry is battling an open secret. To this day, African-Americans and other persons of color are foreclosed from fully participating in the industry

According to the 2011 Occupational Employment Statistics published by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 419,840 employees employed in Advertising, Public Relations and Related Services earning an annual mean salary of $62,450 and management occupations earning an annual mean salary of $139,800. The statistical data does not consider the protected categories of race, color and national origin.

Although the United States government has not undertaken the task of analyzing the advertising industry and its employment practices, as a result of civil rights litigation, others have tried. In particular, according to the Research Perspectives on Race and Employment in the Advertising Industry, the advertising industry is still marked with the “Black-White” pay disparity, in which African-American professionals only earn 80 cents for every dollar earned by their equally-qualified Caucasian counterparts; stereotype-based perceptions exclude African-Americans from “general market” agencies as opposed to “ethnic markets;” African-Americans are only 62% as likely as their Caucasian counterparts to work in :client contact” or “creative” functions; and only 10% as likely to hold a position paying $100,000 or more a year.

While the continued marginalization of African-Americans employees and applicants are at least being discussed, Hispanics, Asians and Native American Indians who encounter similar obstacles are not even discussed.

Despite enacting laws to protect employees and applicants from employment discrimination in the workplace, the advertising industry seems to be operating in the “dark ages” relying too heavily on “racial stereotypes” and job protectionist activities. In other words, too many talented African-Americans are being foreclosed from fully realizing their career potential. Over the years, the advertising industry has not proactively changed the culture to one of “inclusion.” Therefore, employees and applicants will have no other alternative than to use civil rights litigation as a tool to shape the advertising industry.

If you feel that you’ve been the victim of race, color or national origin discrimination or would like to have an attorney review your documents to ensure that your rights are protected, contact the New York Race Discrimination Lawyer at The Sanders Firm, P.C., today. Your voice for justice.