Nathan Young Resigns From Periscope

Nathan Young, the co-founder of industry advocacy group 600 & Rising, has resigned from Minneapolis-based agency Periscope where he was group strategy director. 

He resigned from the agency two weeks ago the same day he stepped down as head of 600 & Rising, although word of his split from the agency was made public today, first reported by 

Young moved from Seattle in March to join Periscope and had been leading the agency’s COVID-19 response team.

One of Young’s most recent Twitter messages hinted at his need for a period of renewal after the hyperactive pace he’d been keeping for much of the year. His August 22 post states, “Taking a break looks like weakness, but it's honestly strength.”



Young gained almost instant prominence earlier this summer as co-founder of 600 & Rising, a group of Black advertising professionals that is demanding that Adland improve its diversity profile quickly. Young and his co-founding partner Bennett D. Bennett founded the group in early June in wake of the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police that sparked protests around the world as well as a national conversation on race and social justice. 

In a matter of weeks its numbers grew from hundreds to thousands. His leadership helped prompt nearly all holding companies to release their diversity figures as well as to commit to new efforts to make their ranks more diverse.

In late July, Young became embroiled in a Twitter fight with diversity group AdColor over a message that stated “ADCOLOR is an awards ceremony completely divorced from reality that sells the story that progress is being made on diversity in advertising and buys cover for holding companies.”

The resulting fallout led Young to resign from 600&Rising on August 10 citing the stress and his belief he had “lost his way.”

Periscope issued this statement late Tuesday: "We are grateful for the work Nathan has done with our team and wish him well as he takes some time to focus on his family and his future. Nathan helped to push the industry – and our own agency – to have important and often difficult conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion. Those conversations are not over. Periscope and Quad continue on our journey to invest in and remain committed to our DEI efforts. We say goodbye to Nathan with sincere thanks for his contributions to this journey and best wishes for his future."

This story has been updated with a statement from Periscope. 



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