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The A Pledge is a call to Atlanta advertising and marketing agencies to come together in a committed effort to create inclusive opportunities within our industry. Over the next decade, we will make the changes needed to ensure our teams reflect the diversity of our community. As we do, we will see systemic opportunity grow in our industry, our city, and our nation.

THE A PLEDGE MANIFESTO

We are at an inflection point in our country not seen since the Civil Rights era of the 1960s. Awareness of the inequities and systemic racism that Black and Brown people experience in our society has permeated the hearts and minds of Americans across our entire nation.

We must seize upon this time. Eyes have been opened with a new sense of empathy. Half-measures and good intentions are not enough. We must be willing to commit to actionable, measurable progress against ambitious and worthy goals.

It is from that spirit that this pledge was born.

We believe that to attack systemic racism and social inequities in a truly meaningful way, people must come together, hand in hand, to create a path for systemic opportunity.

And thus, we are asking Atlanta advertising and marketing agencies to sign a pledge committing to matching the diversity of their team to that of our city by 2030. Currently, demographic studies show that in 2020, Atlanta’s population is 62% People of Color, 38% White.

While our city’s demographics will inevitably shift over time, the point of this pursuit is to acknowledge the disparity in opportunity in the advertising and marketing industry — and more importantly, to take real, measurable actions to correct it.

The agencies that join in taking this pledge will use our collective power to intentionally address the myriad obstacles preventing systemic opportunity from being a reality today.

We begin with the end goal in mind: creating an equitable, diverse, representative workforce in Atlanta’s advertising and marketing industry. The specific strategies we use on this journey will form as we begin to work together. While we know that the actions necessary to secure the intended impact will change as our community and nation change over time, we must always remember that everything we do will ladder up to our vision of inclusive opportunity within our industry. This goal will be our relentlessly focused rallying point — our North Star.

While ambitious, we believe that with the necessary hard work and focus, 10 years is the optimal amount of time to achieve meaningful, lasting change at a scale we can directly affect.

We can find no good reason as to why, in a city like Atlanta, that a creative, influential, and high-paying wage industry like advertising and marketing should not be represented by a more diverse workforce.

In fact, it is precisely because we are creating this in Atlanta that we believe the goal is both worthy and attainable.

Atlanta was the home of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the American Civil Rights Movement. At the end of Dr. King’s life, the movement was just getting started, sharpening its focus on improving economic outcomes for historically marginalized people. We endeavor to continue his march toward economic justice.

We believe our craft — advertising and marketing — is the ideal place to begin. So in this place, at this time, we invite you to do what is right. Join us in taking the A Pledge to move our industry forward.

TIMELINE & PARTICIPANTS

The A Pledge kicks off in Q1 of 2021. Working collaboratively with brand and civic partnerships, participating agencies will create a timeline for a careful, focused push toward racial equity.

Ansira
Beam Imagination
Bounteous
Brand Positioning Doctors
Brunner
Dagger
Dalton Agency
Definition6
Digital Additive
Dragon Army
EveryWhere
Fizz - Word of Mouth Marketing
Imagine Media
Launch
Matchstic
Media Frenzy
Nebo
WITH
Yalo!

FAQ

What is The A Pledge? -
The A Pledge is an effort to challenge the Atlanta advertising and marketing agency community and corporate marketing leaders to match the diversity of their team to that of Atlanta by 2030. It is an alliance of local agency and corporate leaders who will work together to tackle the tough issue of systemic racism in our industry. In 2021, The A Pledge member agencies and brands will develop a city-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) plan with concrete actions that are specific to the Atlanta marketing and advertising community. Each participating agency will be responsible for creating their own company-specific strategies and plans and reporting internal demographic data.
What does the name The A Pledge stand for? +
The A stands for Agencies, Awareness, Activism, and Alliance. It also harkens to one of Atlanta’s common nicknames — The A. With our city’s history as a key center of the civil rights movement, we believe there is no better city for this movement to begin.
Why is the goal to match the diversity of our city by 2030, and is that the right goal? +
We believe that the disparity in our workforce is one of the biggest indicators of ongoing systemic racism in our city. When we compare the lack of diversity in the Atlanta agency community with the demographics of our city, we see a gap in equity and opportunity that needs to be closed. While we are using demographic matching as our focal point, the goal is to make lasting changes necessary that will rectify and combat the systemic racism that has been so prevalent in our industry.
Why is this initiative important? +
Advertising and marketing is a creative industry, and research shows that diverse teams produce more creative results. The industry is also a high-wage industry. That means that diversity gaps lead to economic opportunity gaps. Our industry and our city will be better if our workforce reflects our shared community.
Can my agency participate if it already has a DE&I plan in place? +
Yes! Part of The A Pledge mission is to embrace all of the great work other agencies have been doing. It is our hope that by working together, sharing ideas, strategies, and resources, we can make an even greater change in our industry and city.
What does our agency need to do to sign up and remain a part of the initiative? +
As we launch, we are looking for agencies simply to commit to helping move this pledge forward by actively participating in the development of plans and by sharing agency demographic data. The focus for early 2021 is to develop a plan of action outlining specific steps and recommendations and we will collaborate with participating agencies and brands in those efforts. Going forward, participating agencies will be asked to appoint a key representative, commit to providing demographic data, and participate in developing recommendations to improve DE&I efforts at the agency and citywide.
I don’t run an agency but I work in the industry. How can I help? +
There are many ways to get involved! As a start, sign up for our email list. We’ll keep you informed about priorities and opportunities happening with The A Pledge. If you work at an agency, you can advocate for your agency to participate. If you work at a corporation, you can help lead an initiative to evaluate your current agency partners to ensure they’re either involved with the pledge or some other DE&I initiative. And if you want to personally get involved, let us know!
How can corporate marketing departments participate? +
It is important for agencies to understand that their clients expect them to be actively committed to serious DE&I initiatives. Our hope is that corporate brands will publicly support the pledge, asking their agencies to sign, helping the agencies committed with initiatives (e.g., college fair days, education in systemic racism, etc.), and potentially working with their procurement departments to make The A Pledge agencies a designation of consideration.
Good advertising and marketing creates cultural mirrors and windows into humanity. It’s how we can know and respect the differences that make our communities exceptional. It’s how systemic opportunity flourishes.
Are you ready to take the pledge today?
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