African-Americans in the Advertising Industry

A new study by Bendick and Egan Economic Consultants, released in January, 2009 by the NAACP and Mehri & Skalet, reports data on African-American professionals in the advertising industry in pay, hiring, promotions, assignments, and other areas of employment. The study says that Black college graduates working in advertising earn $.80 for every dollar earned by their White counterparts, and Black managers and professionals are only one-tenth as likely as their White counterparts to earn $100,000 a year.

 The Executive Summary reports that as employment discrimination has sharply diminished across the American labor market over recent decades, barriers to equal opportunity in this $31 billion a year industry have remained largely intact.

Across multiple measures, says the summary, the Black-White gap averages 38% larger in advertising than in the overall U.S. labor market. The divergence between racial equality in this industry and the rest of the labor market is more than twice as large today as 30 years ago.

  • Earnings provide one important measure of the industry's unequal treatment of African Americans. The racial pay gap is more than twice as large in advertising as in the overall labor market.
  • Data from the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission estimate the expected representation of African Americans at 9.6% of advertising managers and professionals. The current 5.3% representation reaches only 55% of that benchmark
  • About 16% of large establishments in the industry employ no Black managers or professionals, a rate 60% higher than in the overall labor market.
  • Blacks are only 62% as likely as their White counterparts to work in advertising agencies' "creative" and "client contact" functions, says the report
  • Based on national demographic data, African-Americans should be 9.6% of the managers and professionals, but in 2008 only 5.3% of managers and professionals were African-American, a difference of 7,200 African-Americans

Please visit here for the summary release, and link to the PDF final report from Bendick and Egan.


And, a quick extra from Scarborough Sports Marketing at the last minute. A look at the people who attend Cardinals and Steelers games...  

  • Cardinals attendees in Phoenix have more disposable income than Pittsburgh's Steelers attendees. 23% of adults in Phoenix who went to a Cardinals game during the past year have an annual household income of $100k+, versus 13% of Pittsburgh's Steelers game attendees who are in that income bracket.
  • Cardinals attendees are more likely to have children at home - 56% have at least one kid age 17 or younger in the household, versus 39% of Pittsburgh's Steelers game attendees.
  • Both Cardinals and Steelers game attendees are more likely than others in their respective cities to be young. Steelers Attendees are 31% more likely than other Pittsburgh adults to be ages 18-34, and Cardinals attendees are 23% more likely than other Phoenix adults to be in this age range.
  • Cardinals and Steelers game attendees are equally likely to be single. One-third of game attendees in each of their home city markets are single, and these attendees are more likely than others in their home cities to be single.
  • Pittsburgh is known as a blue collar town, and Steelers game attendees are 12% more likely than the city as a whole to be blue collar. By contrast, Phoenix's Cardinals attendees are 18% less likely than all Phoenix adults to be blue collar.
  • Phoenix's Cardinals game attendees have almost an even gender split. 52% of those who attended a game during the past year are male, and 48% are female. In Pittsburgh, 58% of Steelers game attendees are male, vs. 42% who are female.


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