IPA urged to push ethnic recruitment up the agenda

Ethnic minorities are not considering a career in advertising and media agencies should adapt their recruitment methods to address the imbalance, a report by an industry body has revealed.

The report by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, carried out by Mehboob Umarji from the COI, the government’s marketing vehicle, acknowledged the industry was “recognising the business case for diversity” but could do to increase the 8.5% proportion currently working in media.

Umarji has urged the IPA and its member agencies to develop mentoring schemes in London schools to attract more applicants to the industry from ethnic minorities, while it should also develop an apprenticeship linked to IPA-endorsed qualifications.

Mehboob Umarji, senior campaign manager, at the COI, said: “Conducting my research really brought home the amount of work which needs to be done to encourage young ethnic minorities to consider advertising as a possible career.

”The IPA continues to strive towards addressing the lack of ethnic minorities within agencies and is taking positive steps to address the problem, particularly with the introduction of qualifications, I urge them to continue the good work in the future and for other industries to take similar action.”

Trevor Robinson, joint chairman of the IPA Ethnic Diversity Group, said the diversity issue should not be seen as “a hindrance” but a method of creating “new possibilities”.

He added that “Britain has been seen as one of the creative countries is because it has always been a huge melting pot of cultures, ideas and interaction”.

“The IPA's Ethnic Diversity Committee is committed to making the advertising industry attractive to the potential wealth of talent which are choosing other professional routes,” he added.

By Kevin May

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