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Study: Advertising Agencies Capitalize Upon and Benefit from Workers’ Race and Ethnicity

A new study has revealed how agencies capitalize upon and benefit from workers’ race and ethnicity as well as the invisible labor performed because of that identity. The findings by Kasey Windels, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications (UFCJC) Advertising associate professor, and UFCJC doctoral students Kelsey Lunsford and Noura Ibrahim are featured in “Invisible Labors: U.S. Advertising Agencies’ Race and Ethnicity Problem” published in the International Journal of Advertising on Dec. 18.

According to the authors, “The study used in-depth interviews with 32 advertising professionals of various races and ethnicities to examine how they experienced working in the industry. The findings reveal several forms of invisible labor that racial and ethnic minorities feel compelled to perform because of their difference, including assimilating to white norms, working harder to prove their worth, educating agency leaders, and serving as a mediator to challenge stereotypical representations.”

They add, “Over 50 years after the New York City Commission on Human Rights called attention toward the advertising industry’s marginalization of Black and Latino/a workers, our findings substantiate that advertising agencies still maintain a culture based on the norms of ‘whiteness,’ which marginalizes racial and ethnic minorities. If agencies want to represent today’s multicultural society, they must work to recognize and eliminate the burdens placed on minorities.”

Additional summaries of findings based on this research include “Co-Cultural Communication in the Advertising Industry” and “Female Perspectives in the World of Advertising.”

Posted: December 19, 2023
Category: College News
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