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IPG & The ADVERTISING Club of New York Host First-Ever Summit on Black Women in Advertising

Industry Trailblazers Examine Trends, Research and Hard Truths

New York, NY - March 27, 2017 - The ADVERTISING Club of New York and Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG) announced today that they are hosting the industry's first-ever event specifically focusing on Black women. THEIR TRUTH: The Summit on Black Women in Advertising, Marketing and Media is part of the I'mPART program, a diversity initiative of The ADVERTISING Club of New York, and will be hosted at The Paley Center on March 27th. The event will be available beginning at 6:30 pm ET, via Facebook Live on IPG's Facebook page,

The event is intended to shed light on recent workforce composition numbers, foster discussion and empower the industry to course correct the number of Black women in leadership positions. Despite equal opportunity and gender initiatives aimed at improving the ratio of women to men in leadership positions overall, recent workforce composition data for the U.S. ad industry shows that women of color are not making as much progress. THEIR TRUTH will promote action utilizing the hashtag #impartoftruth.

THEIR TRUTH will be introduced by Gina Grillo, President and CEO of The ADVERTISING Club of New York, and Michael Roth, Chairman and CEO of IPG. Tai Wingfield, from the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI) will present current research during the event about Black women professionals. THEIR TRUTH will include a panel of Black women industry trailblazers, moderated by Joy Reid from MSNBC. The panel will include: Jocelyn Carter-Miller, President, TechEdVentures and SoulTranSync and IPG Board Member; Pam El, EVP, Chief Marketing Officer, NBA; Vita Harris, EVP, Chief Strategy Officer, FCB; Jeanine D. Liburd, EVP of Marketing, Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility, BET Networks; Lisa Price, SVP, Founder & Creative Director, Carol's Daughter and Carol H. Williams, CEO and Chief Creative Officer, Carol H. Williams Advertising (CHWA). The evening will also include a reading by Valerie Graves, Author, and ex CCO of UWG and Vigilante.

Statistics show that among major demographic groups, Black women have the lowest upward mobility, and are underrepresented on corporate boards. They make up 1% of ad industry executives in the U.S., where there are 93 Black women executives out of a total of 8,734 executives in the industry, according to the EEOC. 

 "While we knew this was an issue that needed to be addressed, the numbers were still startling to see. With such a glaring issue, it's hard to believe that this is the first major industry event to focus specifically on Black women," noted Michael Roth, Chairman and CEO of Interpublic. "We are very proud to bring this issue to the fore, especially with the remarkable slate of talent who are joining us for the event.  Diversity and inclusion is a key value for IPG and a clear imperative for the entire industry. It's essential that both gender and race are on our agendas and this event is an important step forward," he continued.

"Current research on Black women in business is eye-opening and much of what we see is encouraging," commented Tai Wingfield, SVP of Communications at the Center for Talent Innovation and an author of the study. "Titled Black Women: Ready to Lead, our research shows us that not only are Black women qualified and competent to lead, but that they are leaning in, they are confident, and they are ready to take on even greater positions of leadership. There are insights companies can apply to promote more upward mobility," Ms. Wingfield continued.

"Focus on issues related to Black women is critical," commented Heide Gardner, SVP, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, IPG. "Given the industry's legacy of decades of attention to the lack of racial diversity, and the recent explosion of interest in gender, we need to take stock of where we are, not only from a quantitative standpoint, but also from a qualitative standpoint by learning from the experiences of Black women who have thrived. We need to make certain that we are conscious of the importance of ensuring that all women are included in the industry's gender equality movement," she continued.

"The industry needs to do better and this is a first step toward ensuring that we are deliberate about inclusion," stated Gina Grillo, President of The ADVERTISING Club of New York. "I think that many assumptions were being made - that a rising tide would lift all boats. The data shows that's not what's happening for Black women and with that insight, we can improve," she continued.

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About Interpublic

Interpublic is one of the world's leading organizations of advertising agencies and marketing services companies. Major global brands include BPN, Craft, FCB (Foote, Cone & Belding), FutureBrand, Golin, Huge, Initiative, Jack Morton Worldwide, MAGNA, McCann, Momentum, MRM//McCann, MullenLowe Group, Octagon, R/GA, UM and Weber Shandwick. Other leading brands include Avrett Free Ginsberg, Campbell Ewald, Carmichael Lynch, Deutsch, Hill Holliday, ID Media and The Martin Agency. For more information, please visit

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Contact Information

Tom Cunningham
(212) 704-1326

Jerry Leshne
(Analysts, Investors)
(212) 704-1439