Mosaic Principles

The American Advertising Federation’s (AAF) Mosaic Council is the advertising industry’s preeminent think tank on diversity and inclusion. To create a foundation for the Mosaic Council’s work, the members have created the AAF’s Mosaic Principles. These Principles offer agencies and companies at-large the recommendations needed to institute common diversity practices that are essential to addressing the demands of our consumers.

1. We Must Recruit for America

We believe that the future of the industry is reliant on a workforce that reflects the diversity of demographics, lifestyle, experience and mindset of America today and tomorrow. For long-term success, the advertising industry must better represent the mixtures that make America great.

Actionable Practices:

  • Recruit from a variety of places including schools with a mixture of students and cultural organizations.
  • Create partnerships focused on relationship building and career navigation.
  • Leverage affinity groups in the hiring process.
  • Analyze job specifications, requirements and interviewing questions to weed out hidden bias.
  • Require a diverse slate of candidates.
  • Involve a mixture of employees in the interviewing and decisionmaking process. 

2. We Must Recognize the Diversity of Talent Within the Industry

Recognition comes with reward. We must bring greater awareness to the hidden storytellers, innovators and provocateurs in the industry.

Actionable Practices:

  • Increase multicultural talent nominations for award programs.
  • Submit names for award and recognition judging panels.
  • Partner with industry publications to get on the list.
  • Partner with corporate communications to pitch multicultural talent.
  • Encourage multicultural engagement on social media platforms.
  • Identify speakers for panels at various levels of leadership.

3. We Must Provide Greater Access to Development and Leadership Opportunities

Exposure to the right people, brands and assignments in the advertising industry is career-defining. Facilitating connections within the AAF membership and advertising community at-large will help drive the change that we seek.

Actionable Practices:

  • Develop an interest in seeing others succeed in the business and encourage it.
  • Conduct formal training programs (i.e. leadership, management and job-specific skills).
  • Implement discipline rotation programs.
  • Create open access to competitive high-profile assignments.
  • Provide opportunities to participate in roundtable discussions with senior leaders.
  • Promote diverse attendance at industry events to represent the organization.
  • Decipher unwritten rules.
  • Assign someone responsible for on-boarding.
  • Build mentorship and career path training.

4. We Must Encourage the Industry to Portray Realistic Images of Multicultural Youth and Communities

Presenting realistic images of multicultural markets can play a key role in creating a society that is inclusive of the many consumers who define the American marketplace and dispel the stereotypes that have been perpetuated for far too long.

Actionable Practices:

  • Make conscious decisions to produce and disseminate advertising messages that portray the many facets of multicultural life.
  • Challenge creative teams to present ideas that do not reiterate common stereotypes.
  • Showcase examples of work targeted towards multicultural markets that portray multicultural people in various life situations.
  • Seek the opinion of multicultural professionals and consumers regarding images that resonate.
  • Partner with education, entertainment and law enforcement entities to create best practices to dispel the stereotypes and assist in disseminating realistic images.

Download the Mosaic Principles & Practical Guidelines (.pdf)