Corporate Insider exposes racism 'hustle' within advertising, pr, marketing industries.

June 12, 2005 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
(Chicago, IL)— “It’s been going on since Day One— the prejudice and institutionalized discrimination,” says Hadji Williams, a 12-year veteran of the advertising industry. In his new book, KNOCK THE HUSTLE: HOW TO SAVE YOUR JOB AND YOUR LIFE FROM CORPORATE AMERICA (ProdigalPen, Inc., $24.95), Williams exposes what he calls, “the hooded white elephant in the room that my over 80% white and in many markets over 95% White industry still refuses to fix.”

As a respected copywriter and brand consultant, Williams has spent the last decade plus with top Chicago and New York ad agencies and marketing firms building major Fortune 500 brands including Mercedes Benz, Wrigley’s Gum, Cingular Wireless, and Radio Shack. “I wrote KNOCK THE HUSTLE, in part, after years of talking with black and minority professionals across the country and realizing just how entrenched and systemic the prejudice remains and how much it’s still hurting everyone.”

KNOCK THE HUSTLE is filled with surprisingly current case studies that illustrate the severity with which racism still pollutes Madison Ave., from personnel decisions to the way minority culture and consumers are manipulated to build brands to the Jim Crow-like policies under which accounts are awarded and compensated.

“First off, we still treat diversity as mainly blondes, brunettes, redheads plus gay versions thereof. They march out a few minority internship programs for show but that’s about it. Secondly, white women benefit from corporate diversity and affirmative action more than everyone else and everyone knows exactly why. Plus, what few Black professionals we have are paid less than their white counterparts and given fewer opportunities to excel.

Thirdly, Black agencies are often banned from pitching mainstream (white) accounts, which are the most lucrative.” Williams explains. “Furthermore, Black agencies, media outlets and vendors are grossly underpaid and disrespected despite consistently pulling in white consumers in addition to their minority core. For generations White agencies and marketers have made hundreds of billions of dollars off of Black consumers and Black culture (music, fashion, entertainers, etc.) yet they screw Black marketing and media professionals out of their share. It’s time to stop it.”

But Williams notes that KNOCK THE HUSTLE goes beyond blame. “My generation isn’t about excuses or handouts; we’re about solutions. So while KNOCK THE HUSTLE brings the ruckus, it also delivers intelligent, fair solutions that benefit all,” Williams claims. “Marketing is a multi-billion dollar industry— there’s more than enough cream for everybody.”

Williams also believes that KNOCK THE HUSTLE’s unapologetically urban perspective offers fresh, innovative solutions for business’s toughest challenges ranging from corporate ethics and leadership, to diversity and workforce management, to branding and building consumer relationships. “Whether you’re a CEO, a secretary, in college or right off ‘the block,’ KNOCK THE HUSTLE will broaden your mind and empower you to excel in business and in society in a way that you can be proud of.”


KNOCK THE HUSTLE: HOW TO SAVE YOUR JOB AND YOUR LIFE FROM CORPORATE AMERICA By Hadji Williams (ISBN # 1-932523-00-6, 380 pp. Price: $24.95.) Available July 2005 at plus Barnes & Noble and Borders.