- Following criticism by a group of activists led by the high profile American preacher, the Reverend Al Sharpton, Young & Rubicam has hit back defending its record on minorities.
The agency was attacked for not devoting enough advertising dollars to ethnic media outlets and not hiring enough minorities.
Reverend Sharpton alleged today that only 2 per cent of Y&R employees were people of colour. Y&R said that the real figure was more than 20 per cent within the US.
Y&R was one of several companies criticised by Sharpton; others included PepsiCo, Macy's and Katz Radio Group.
A Y&R spokesman said: "We have long been a leader in giving our time and professional expertise to a range of causes. For more than 20 years, we have worked with the United Negro College Fund, helping them raise hundreds of millions of dollars in media advertising."
Y&R also pointed to its connections as advertising and marketing partner to the National Urban Coalition and the National Urban League.
"What is more, Young & Rubicam is a leader in ethnic media spending. We place over $150 million of advertising in ethnic and minority-owned media every year. We do so to support our clients' communications strategies. And we are confident that we succeed in helping our clients meet their market objectives by reaching their consumers across all audiences."