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ANA says only 13% of its CMO members are people of color

By Minda Smiley | Reporter



Modern Marketing article

March 27, 2018 | 4 min read

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) has released a scorecard that details the gender and ethnic makeup of its 747 most senior members.

The inaugural report, which surveyed members who hold the chief marketing officer role or an equivalent one at their respective companies, found that only 13% of top marketers are people of color. Of that group, Asians and Hispanics each make up 5% while African Americans constitute 3%.

Picture taken from Pexels

Additionally, the survey found that 45% of top marketers are female. In the “banking and financial services” and “sports and entertainment” sectors, women outnumber men.

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“Industry progress begins with understanding the facts about our marketplace,” said ANA chief executive Bob Liodice in a statement. “For too long, we’ve relied on inference and innuendo rather than hard facts and data. We’ve now planted a ‘stake in the ground’ against which we can begin to track our progress annually. But knowing these results is just the first step. We need complete commitment throughout our industry to create lasting change.”

The scorecard comes as the ANA grapples with the diversity problems facing both the marketing and advertising industries. It’s an issue that's acutely affected the agency side of the business, where only 29% of creative directors are women, according to data released by the 3% Movement in November. The 3% Movement has yet to release any numbers around ethnic representation at agencies, but it found last year that only 16% of agencies have a chief diversity and inclusion officer, while less than a quarter have networks for employees of color.

In December, Liodice spoke to The Drum about his want for an industry-wide benchmarking tool that marketers could track their diversity progress against. At the time, he said companies “need this data to become fundamentally educated and to have intelligent conversations” on the topic, noting that the “best starting place is to get the data, create some averages and create some awareness about what is in fact taking place.”

To help increase the number of women and minorities that hold top marketing roles, the ANA said its Alliance for Family Entertainment (AFE) and Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM) will lead the charge. The AFE’s #SeeHer campaign, which launched in 2016, is aiming to achieve a “20 percent improvement in women’s portrayal” in media by 2020.

AIMM, which was also formed in 2016, is “working to unite the industry to elevate diversity and increase multicultural marketing as strategic marketing imperatives.” According to the ANA, nearly 70 companies have joined AIMM.

“We want to position AIMM as a powerful voice in diversity and multicultural and inclusive marketing,” Liodice said. “We want to engage senior marketing executives throughout the country in this conversation. That is why it is so important to have diverse leadership at the top of marketer companies.”

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