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Celebrating Black Beauty and Advocating Diversity by Andrew Adam Newman for The New York Times

(APR 18, 2013) TYPICALLY, cause-marketing efforts involve profit-making companies partnering with charities to raise money. But Procter & Gamble, with its seven-year-old My Black Is Beautiful initiative, is introducing a project that is surprisingly ambitious even by the consumer goods giant’s standards.

On Sunday, Procter & Gamble will present a screening of “Imagine a Future” in conjunction with theTribeca Film Festival. The film, which aims to empower African-American women, features Janet Goldsboro, a teenager from Dover, Del.

“I didn’t look like what I saw in a magazine,” Ms. Goldsboro says about her childhood in the documentary. “I look different from all my cousins. I had dark features, dark hair, dark eyes, big nose and big lips, and I used to get made fun of because of how I looked.”

She says that she is “into boys” — and that their remarks can sting.

“Boys say, ‘I like the light-skinned girls,’ or, ‘I like white girls because I want my baby to come out pretty,’ ” Ms. Goldsboro says. “And that hurts you because it makes you feel like you’re ugly looking.”

The documentary is co-directed by Shola Lynch, whose documentary “Free Angela and All Political Prisoners” about Angela Davis is in theaters now, and by Lisa Cortes, who also produced the documentary and who was an executive producer for the Oscar-winning movie “Precious.”



Negotiations Between SAG-AFTRA, ANA and 4A's Result in Mandate for Ad-ID in All Commercial Production

New York, NY – April 24, 2013 – Commercials negotiations between the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), and the ANA-4A’s Joint Policy Committee (JPC) representing the advertising industry, have mandated universal adoption of Ad-ID. Ad-ID is the industry coding standard for identifying advertising assets across all media platforms. Use of Ad-ID will provide the necessary identification required by all parties for fair talent compensation. Under the new agreement, all commercials produced for television, radio and digital platforms featuring SAG-AFTRA union members, must now use Ad-ID as the sole standard commercial identifier. Per the contract, a grace period through March 31, 2014 will be provided for conversion.

Ad-ID is a web-based system that generates and manages a unique identifying code for each advertising asset and applies that code to all media. Valid Ad-ID codes can only be issued from the Ad-ID system and include all basic information regarding the advertising asset. Ad-ID has developed extensive educational materials posted on including webinars, videos and FAQs to help the marketing community make this transition. 

"This mandate is a critical step forward for Ad-ID and the advertising industry as a whole," said Bob Liodice, President and CEO of the ANA and CEO of Ad-ID. "Full adoption of Ad-ID will enable greater transparency and accountability and eliminate costly errors associated with the inconsistent use of advertising asset identifiers. To ensure consistency with the SAG-AFTRA contract provisions, we strongly recommend that the transition to Ad-ID codes for all television, radio and digital commercial production begin as soon as possible."

In October 2012, Ad-ID was unanimously endorsed by the boards of directors of theAmerican Association of Advertising Agencies (4A's) and Association of National Advertisers (ANA) as the industry standard for commercial advertising coding. 

For more information about the SAG-AFTRA and JPC agreement with Ad-ID visit


About Ad-ID

Ad-ID is the industry standard for identifying advertising assets (broadcast, print and digital) across all media platforms. The Ad-ID system was developed by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A's) and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) in 2003. Ad-ID serves more than 800 clients including the largest advertisers and advertising agencies in the world. Ad-ID was named Media Supplier of the Year by Media Magazine in 2012. Visit

Press Contact:

Meredith Topalanchik


Russell Simmons' New Venture: Digital Marketing. Launches 'Digital-Solutions Shop' Called Narrative. by Maureen Morrison for AdAge

First it was Def Jam, and then it was Phat Farm. Now, Russell Simmons is launching his latest venture in the advertising world.

Mr. Simmons, who founded the pioneering hip-hop label Def Jam records and clothing label Phat Farm, among other things, has launched Narrative, a digital marketing, entertainment and technology company, with longtime business partner Tricia Clarke-Stone.

But both Ms. Clarke-Stone and Mr. Simmons are quick to avoid labeling their venture as an agency. "We want to make sure agencies don't view us as a competitor," said Ms. Clarke-Stone. "We're not trying to be agency of record for different brands and clients. We believe we have a level of expertise that's really rooted in creating immersive brand experiences across platforms."

"We work for agencies, we're not an agency," said Mr. Simmons. "We're a digital solutions [company]. We think our future is working for agencies, not working around them." Narrative is launching with about 9 employees, and by end of year Mr. Simmons and Ms. Clarke-Stone expect to have close to 20, mostly based in New York, with some key people in Los Angeles.

Narrative touts itself as a company that provides marketing solutions for publishers, agencies and brands. Its purpose is to create digital campaigns that are rooted in social media, branded entertainment and celebrity-driven content, using techniques such as crowd-sourcing, gamification and rewards. Campaigns are distributed through pop-culture, entertainment, music and lifestyle websites, bolstered by behavioral-data analytics and a custom ad-serving platform, among other technologies.

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New iPhone App ‘Around the Way’ Locates Black-Owned Businesses

Looking for a black-owned business in your area? Well, there’s an app for that now. Thanks to the innovative trio behind New York-based company Around the Way and mobile-app development firm Clearly Innovative, located in Washington, DC, Apple iPhone users can download a free app that will locate black-owned establishments in a given area.  With African Americans embracing mobile web usage more than any other demographic, Around the Way, which is comprised of CEO Janine Hausif, Eric Hamilton, the chief marketing officer, and Chief Technology Officer Sian Morson, is invested in placing these businesses on your radar.

According to Pew Research findings, 51% of African-American mobile users do most of their online browsing on their phone, double the amount for their white counterparts (24%). Not to mention, there was a 60% increase in black-owned firms from 2002 to 2007, bringing the total to 1.9 million establishments in ’07, according to the US Census Bureau Survey of Black-Owned Business: 2007. That report was released in February of last year.

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An Inside View of How We Recruit (Without Recruiters)

Last week my post, “Why We Never Use Professional Recruiters,” spawned a terrific discussion with many commenters taking the time to share their views on the best way to do recruiting. I’m grateful for each of the comments. As I said in my very firstpost for this column, “I am hopeful that together, we can discover how to build a great team.” I want to use this post to walk through some of the comments from last week and then provide a specific example of recent recruiting efforts at H.Bloom. Before I start though, I will underscore the principle on which we all clearly agree: Always be recruiting! There were three main themes that emerged from last week’s discussion. As many commenters indicated, the professional recruiting industry, like any industry, has both exceptional recruiters that provide extraordinary value to clients and some less-than-stellar recruiters who do what you could do yourself:
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