Diversity in Advertising

First I’d like to introduce myself and give you a little background information. My name is Fawaz Zakir, I am your Ad 2 Diversity Chair for the 2013-14 board year. I was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to Pakistani parents and moved to Orlando, FL at the age of two. Growing up I was never exposed to advertising as a career, I did not know my fondness of commercials and the message they expressed could actually be a profession until I reached college. Why is that? It could be my roots in South East Asian culture that mostly encourage health/ technology related fields. Although still I was brought up in an American school systems where I still do not recollect ever being taught of the creative field of advertising.

In the Advertising field we have come to understand the beauty of relaying an idea to the masses. Now more than ever we have seen advertising expand to include nearly every aspect of our life. It was not until fairly recently that advertising as a career was brought to pop culture thanks to the likes of AMC’s hit series Mad Men. Whether the show is a good representation of Advertising or not we may disagree on but i’m certain we can all agree that Advertising lacks diversity within it’s foundation. In a field that is based on creativity and the power of an idea more than race or sex why is it still so far behind in representing minorities and majorities alike? The video below is a great look at  Advertising and Diversity.


“85% of all advertising and marketing messages are aimed at women, 90% of all communications campaigns are created by men.”   This is why programs such as Ad 2 and AAF are so vital. To display the art of advertising to the masses and create an open discussion to those who already call it “work”. I look forward to a great year with Ad2 Orlando and expanding the conversation started by my predecessor Joel A. Montilla on such an important issue.


-Fawaz Zakir, Diversity Chair


Source: Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) Report 2011