An Advertising Industry Letter for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion | Join Us!

An Advertising Industry Letter for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Join Us!

It has been 241 days since the death of George Floyd.

241 days since the injustice of one man’s senseless death has ignited the greatest global social movement we have seen in our lifetimes. His death, and countless others, revealed to the world the utter depth and breadth of systemic racism – galvanizing people of all creeds to collectively start the work of dismantling it. Even more, news of more senseless violence against Black people, and stark examples of unequal treatment, demonstrate the cyclical and perpetual severity of these problems. These inequalities and deeply-rooted biases permeate and affect our communities and various industries of work – and unfortunately, the advertising industry is not exempt.

And for the past 241 days, those of us in Disney Advertising Sales have undergone our own personal reckoning and reawakening, as we’ve become more aware of how systemic racism impacts us all. While some progress has been made in the past, we need to dig deeper and build upon our past efforts to create new habits, a new culture, and a new system of inclusion.

In order to begin the necessary work to achieve this vision, as an organization, our first step was to listen – hearing stories and experiences from our Black colleagues, holding spaces to have honest conversations, and embracing the discomfort of hearing hard truths. This was instrumental in shaping our vision and identifying our avenues of action.

We have established inclusive committees comprised of 70 volunteers – from assistant to president – focused on a culture of inclusion through listening and education; developing our existing diverse talent; enhancing our hiring practices; and reshaping how we positively work together with and influence our industry as a whole.

While we have been focused these past months on change within our organization, we see the opportunity to be a part of the change within our industry as well. And we recognize that in order to truly make a lasting impact in this work, we cannot do this alone. A change in any system cannot happen without the intentional efforts of all those who are actively involved. For our industry, this includes us and this includes you, agencies, brands, publishers, and associations to all be part of building a new system.

We are inviting all in our advertising community to join us on this path of accountability in creating an industry that actively hears and elevates diverse voices. In practice, we will:

  • Ensure industry panel discussions and events are inclusive of diverse talent and topics of conversation.
  • Define best practices for recruiting and development that enable diverse talent to move and shift within the industry.
  • Be more transparent on our progress and work together to establish strategy, analysis, accountability, and metrics on diversity and inclusion efforts.

Thank you to AdColor, dentsu, Horizon, MediaVillage, Omnicom, Publicis and Translation for joining us on this journey and for your commitment to advancing our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) efforts. Together through awareness, commitment, and ownership, we can lead by example in the short- and long-term.

Our industry is a tight-knit network of talent. When we are allies in the pursuit of DE&I efforts, we have the opportunity to create an industry that elevates voices of differing backgrounds and viewpoints in an impactful way. We are better when people at all levels reflect the varied life experiences of our audiences, customers, and communities. To our prospective allies, we would love to hear from you on how we can take this journey together and what you are doing to bring about real change in your inclusion efforts. Disney Advertising Sales is here, and we’re ready to work with you now in this fight for a better tomorrow.

Please email your main point of contact from our Disney Advertising Sales Team or Contact Us at to start the conversation.

The Employees of Disney Advertising Sales, with Rita Ferro

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A message from Disney Advertising Sales President, Rita Ferro

Partners –

We are collectively navigating unchartered waters with the coronavirus pandemic affecting all of our families, our businesses, and our way of life. During this period of uncertainty, I wanted to reach out and provide an update on how Disney is approaching the situation on behalf of your business.

We are working around the clock with our colleagues at ESPN to determine replacement programming for the remainder of March & April so that we are able to best support the plans you have in place. Just today, ESPN’s Executive Vice President, Programming Acquisitions and Scheduling, Burke Magnus provided insights to the approach he and his team have been taking – you can read more about ESPN’s replacement programming plans here.

Additionally, we are working with The Leagues who have suspended their season to determine go forward plans and be prepared to ensure sponsors are ready to go as soon as they are. While there will be no live games, we’ve increased production on our premier live studio programming, anchored by SportsCenter, Get Up and First Take – with NFL Free Agency and the Greatest College Basketball Player of All Time initiative driving content.

Across our entertainment brands we are seeing increased audiences and engagement on both our Linear and Digital platforms, inclusive of Hulu. We’ve shifted Jimmy Kimmel Live an hour earlier and expanded daytime news coverage of current affairs beginning tomorrow. And we’re looking to attach advertisers to our signature franchises like Good Morning America and our Freeform series, where we have a lot of feel good family content that can be great resonators for client messaging.

In other areas, we have seen partners in categories such as CPG & DTC wanting increased activity in order to meet the rapidly changing needs and consumption patterns from consumers. We are actively working with many of you to help maximize your creative messaging and your plans to respond to these rapid shifts in consumer behavior.

Our Disney CreativeWorks creative teams are actively responding to advertisers in need of creative editing, reformatting and any other need you may have.

While these are challenging times to say the least, we remain fully committed to the ongoing service of your businesses and please don’t hesitate to reach out to me individually.

Bottom line we are here to help execute, strategize and plan for the next few weeks and months. We will continue to focus on the short and long of what this means to you and to us and we will do it together as partners.

Please stay safe with your families & colleagues.

Warmest Regards,