For Immediate Release: Thursday, August 20, 2020
Omaha, Nebraska – Eleven local marketing agencies joined together to take the first step toward reducing the diversity hiring gap within the advertising industry. In an effort to cultivate more Black marketers and creatives in Omaha, the American Advertising Federation of Omaha (AAF Omaha) and Bozell, a locally owned mid-size agency, created the ADvance Omaha Fund.
Together, the 11 agencies collected $28,150 to donate to local nonprofits. Those organizations include:
- Culxr House – A hub that provides artists and creatives a safe space to grow their talent and obtain access to resources necessary to turn their art into economic opportunities.
- Seventy Five North: Code Camp – A coding camp primarily for high schoolers in North Omaha.
- Noise – A community-led news organization that addresses the information gap within North Omaha.
- I Be Black Girl – A collective that creates space for Black identifying women and girls to access their full potential to authentically “be.”
Rod Coleman, head of paid media at Bozell, was the catalyst for this initiative. As a Black marketing professional in Omaha, he recognized a lack of diversity in the market and the need for change. “We as an industry are expert communicators, but sometimes the conversation becomes difficult. This initiative gives us a way to address the issue in our industry and try to improve the situation.”
“Opening up to these organizations helps us not only embrace differences across the board, but also allows us to approach the community authentically. That’s how we open the pipeline. That’s how we increase awareness of our industry and how we show genuine interest in creating a more diverse hiring pool.”
“We know that the pandemic has affected many businesses, but the participation by so many agencies is proof that this is a vital initiative,” said Jackie Miller, CMO of Bozell. “Long-term, collective efforts to recruit and retain more diverse marketing talent in Omaha is necessary to ensure we are producing relevant work, because that is what keeps our industry thriving.”
“This is just the first step,” said Teri Hamburger, executive director of AAF Omaha. “Through our Diversity and Inclusion committee, made up of marketing professionals from around the city, we are establishing relationships with these nonprofits in order to collaborate on ways to keep supporting and promoting their efforts.”
The 11 contributing agencies include Angel Carl Marketing, Archrival, Bailey Lauerman, Bozell, Eleven Twenty-Three, Ervin & Smith, KidGlov, OBI Creative, Smith Kroeger, Swanson Russell and Verizon Media.
Contact: Teri Hamburger
Executive Director, AAF Omaha