In his opening speech yesterday at the 83rd annual management conference of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, president/ceo O Burtch Drake castigated his members for their failure to achieve ethnic diversity within the industry.

The percentage of multicultural employees working in the top one hundred agencies, said Drake, had reached a plateau at 16.3%, compared with the US population average of 28.6%. “These figures are unacceptable,” he opined, urging member agencies to double their number of ethnic minority staff. Members were also invited to contribute funds to minority scholarship program, Operation Jumpstart.

Today, Friday, the serried suits will applaud the presentation of the 2000 O'Toole Awards for advertising creativity and consistency. The winners are …

• General excellence – agencies billing above $300 million:
Fallon Worldwide (Minneapolis)

• General excellence – agencies billing $30m-$300m:
Carmichael Lynch (also Minneapolis)

• General excellence – agencies billings below $30m:
Mad Dogs and Englishmen (New York)

• Multicultural advertising:
Ornelas & Associates (Dallas)

• Public service (broadcast work):
Saatchi & Saatchi (New York)

• Public service (print work):
DeVito/Verdi (New York).

For the first time the O'Toole honors were accompanied by hard cash, each of the General Excellence and Multicultural winners collecting $25,000, while the Public Service winners each won $10,000.

News source: New York Times