We’re thrilled to announce our partnership with the National Association of Minority & Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF) as part of our agency-wide mission to foster diversity in the workplace, government, and legal system. You can read more about the the BSTRO & NAMWOLF partnership in our press release.
At BSTRO, we’re passionate about partnerships that not only help combat social injustices but also provide better products and services as a result of the inclusion of diverse viewpoints. In recent months, the need for such inclusion has made itself increasingly evident in the marketing world specifically, as a number of ads have made headline news due to their insensitive takes on large social issues. One of the more alarming was the infamous Pepsi blunder starring Kendall Jenner. While we’re sure the advertisers had good intentions, the Internet swiftly deemed this ad “tone-deaf,” and the reverberations of this marketing misstep are still being felt.
That’s because, beyond the immediate Pepsi sphere, this debacle reflects a larger problem in the marketing and advertising industry. Who is making these ads, who is approving them, and what perspectives are being left off the table? The CMO of AirBnB recently told the WSJ that he’s planning “an open casting call for women and people of color to meet with him”—during this month’s Cannes advertising conference—“for a shot at working for the company.” He sees the roles of minorities and women in the marketing industry lacking, especially when it comes to bringing their minds to the creative process. We agree (but wonder who’s footing the bill for international trips to France in pursuit of the chance for a job.)
Consider the statistics of diversity in the US. While caucasians make up the majority of the population, 13 percent are black, and 17 percent are Hispanic and Latino. As marketers or advertisers, we cannot connect to diverse audiences (ie., do our jobs) if the teams creating the content do not reflect that diversity in equal measure.
At BSTRO, we believe fostering diversity improves marketing efforts and business as a whole. That’s why, in making staffing decisions, we seek out individuals of vastly different backgrounds. Diversity in ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, and opinions challenges people to think harder about what they produce. Because they’re confronted with differences every day, creative teams begin to consider how their message will be received by someone who doesn’t live the same type of life they do.
In a tech world that’s 80 percent male, BSTRO has always had a team that is at least 60 percent female, 20 percent LGBT, and 40 percent born outside of the US and Canada. This diversity has allowed our team to bring different viewpoints and offer innovative solutions to clients. We believe that this commitment to inclusion is directly related to our success over the years—and we encourage our colleagues in the industry to do the same.
BSTRO is a digital marketing and branding agency with offices in San Francisco, Vancouver, and New York, known for developing engaging campaigns that create deeper connections between people and businesses. The agency drives creative initiatives for a roster of clients including BabyCenter, BandAid, Splenda, Johnson & Johnson Healthy Essentials, the British Columbia Centre of Disease Control and Chef.io. You can view some of BSTRO’s work at bstro.com/work.