The Week: i-Q - The internet question, Friday, 29 February 2008 12:00AM

Is the IPA right to attack the ad industry for white, male and middle-class bias?

The industry is mainly staffed by the white middle class for economic reasons. Only they can afford the low-paid salaries that are commonplace at the bottom of the ladder because they are supported by affluent families during the lean years at the outset of their careers. - Mark Smith

You are saying that offers are made to non-whites but they reject them. It's the other way round. The agencies don't make offers to them and hide behind the reason you have quoted above. - RR

Last Friday, the Department for Culture Media and Sport launched "Creative Britain, New Talents for the New Economy", its strategy for the UK's creative industries. We were pleased our "Diagonal Thinking" (diversity) initiative was mentioned. The Government sees it as a way to help increase diversity in our sector. - Hamish Pringle

The IPA needs to figure out if it wants to ride a populist bandwagon or if it is truly committed to the principle the London ad industry ought to be more reflective of the demography of London. If the IPA wants to make a difference, it needs to initiate an outreach effort that proves the industry can be a meritocracy for one who may not come from "central casting". - Ashish Banerjee

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