Diageo is asking to see its ad agencies’ diversity plans but it has been met with ‘some blank faces’

Diageo is beginning to ask its agencies to see their internal ‘diversity plans’ amid a wider four-pronged ‘framework’ aimed at ridding its marketing of stereotypes.


Gráinne Wafer, Diageo’s global head of brand for Bailey’s, has revealed that the drinks company has started to ask ad agency bosses for their diversity strategies and that some had responded with “blank faces,” though she didn’t name those agencies.

“I work in an organisation where diversity is really embedded into it; 40% + of our senior leadership team are women. But Diageo needs to start asking agencies to see their diversity plans. I’ve done it recently – I’ve been met with some blank faces.

“Some people are able to say ‘I know exactly what it is, here’s ours.’ Or ‘we’re not there yet but we have a plan’. That’s all I want to hear. That you have a plan,” she said, suggesting other marketers do the same.

This isn’t necessarily a new call to action. In 2016, HP issued a mandate to its roster of agencies for an increase in the number of women and minorities in creative and strategy roles, with 50% of its workforce to be made up of women.

In the same year, General Mills told creative agencies that to pitch for its business they would have to have a staff of at least 50% women and at least 20% of color.

Read more at The Drum: http://www.thedrum.com/news/2018/07/02/diageo-asking-see-its-ad-agencies-diversity-plans-it-has-been-met-with-some-blank